Whether it’s a living donation or registering to donate after you’ve passed, the organs that support your life have more to give. Learn about the unique organs and tissues that sustain our lives, and how they can restore hope to those in need.
Blood is vital to each and every transplant and surgery, in fact every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Blood is one of the easiest and most common donations, and each donation has the possibility to save up to 3 lives.
Bones protect your internal organs and give the body shape and mobility. Bone grafting and transplants have hundreds of uses. Imagine the impact on someone’s life, restoring the use of a limb and reducing the need for amputation.
Connective tissue comes in many different forms; it’s what holds many of our organs in place and functioning properly. Bone, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and fat tissue are all forms of connective tissue that may need to be donated. A single tissue donor has an opportunity to heal more than 75 lives!
The cornea acts as the window that lets light into our eyes, illuminating everything we see. Corneal transplants help to prevent and cure blindness, and happen to be the most commonly performed and successful transplant surgery year after year. With approximately 30,000 corneal transplants each year, donations are helping thousands of people see the light.
Your heart’s four chambers work in unison to pump over 2,000 gallons of blood to your organs and tissues every day. Once this organ is compromised by disease, wound or infection, immediate action and often heart transplants are required. At any time there are thousands of individuals waiting for a heart to become available annually.
Can you hear that “lub-dub” of your heartbeat? That’s the sound of your heart valves as they open and close, maintaining the correct direction of blood flow. Without properly functioning valves blood can flow backwards, causing serious complications and health risks. Over 100,000 transplants occur each year to repair or replace diseased or defective heart valves.
Your kidneys are in charge of expelling waste and releasing important hormones. Kidney donation is often the best remedy to kidney failure, especially if dialysis is not an option. Many of us are able to live healthy lives with just 1 kidney, making it a perfect opportunity for a living donation to support the life of someone in need.
The liver helps to detoxify the blood, and also performs various other functions vital to survival. Surprisingly, a portion of the liver can be removed from a living donor, and both the donor and recipient’s livers will grow to a healthy size and capacity within months.
Because our bodies can’t store the fresh air we breathe, our lungs aid in removing harmful carbon dioxide and bringing fresh oxygen into our blood stream. Someone may need a single or double lung transplant following a cystic fibrosis or COPD diagnosis.
The pancreas is one of the most fragile organs in your body. It has many different functions, including controlling sugar levels in the blood, releasing enzymes that aid in digestion, and insulin production. Many people require pancreatic transplants after struggling with diabetes or kidney disease. For this reason, pancreatic and kidney transplants often occur at the same time.
Skin tissue serves as a natural barrier to infection and as a self-healing biological bandage. However, once that tissue is damaged beyond repair a skin transplant can save burn victims from fatal infections. Tissue donations are in demand because it can take between 10-15 donors to help one severe burn victim.
90% of your body’s digestion and absorption of nutrients occurs in the intestines. This vital organ may require a transplant following intestinal failure, Crohn’s disease, abdominal trauma or other serious complications.