By ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Early Wednesday morning, Donovan Williams underwent surgery, not to keep him alive, but to give an incredible gift to half a dozen others hoping to live.
The 14-year-old was involved in an ATV accident over the Fourth of July weekend that left him on life support at St. Charles in Bend, unlikely to recover from his injuries.
But Donovan’s donation of his heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas and liver will ultimately help six others to continue to live.
“When you register as a donor, you do have the potential to save up to eight lives and improve close to another 100 people’s lives,” said Executive Director of Donate Life Northwest Leslie Brock.
Donate Life Northwest has managed Oregon’s donor registry for 45 years and helped thousands of patients.
More than 870 Oregonians are currently waiting for a life-saving transplant.
“For every person that registers as a donor, that lessens the waiting list,” said Brock. “That brings more people hope that are waiting for that life-saving transplant.”
In order for someone to donate organs in Oregon, they must pass away in a hospital.
Though it could take two or three days to find an organ match, once surgery takes place the process of procuring organs happen quickly.
Recipients of an organ from St. Charles will likely be in the Northwest since the organ must be transplanted within just a few hours.
“They don’t tell the recipients they’re even a match until they go to the OR,” said Monica Schulz, Manager of the St Charles Bend ICU.
Though the process of losing a loved one is difficult for families, there is often some solace in knowing that they have helped to save someone else.
“I like to think of the dichotomy of balance between the fact that you’ve got this family in crisis that is grieving very strongly, and at the same time recognizing that there’s another family who’s in crisis because their loved one may die from not having an organ,” said St. Charles Chaplain Kit Hall. “The amazing gift it is t be able to offer a living organ from the loss that you’re going through. It chokes me up every time I think about it.”
“They may have had this tragic loss, but something really good was able to come from it,” said Brock. “Knowing they were able to give that ultimate gift, is just really amazing.”
A GoFundMe for Donovan’s family more than $30,000 of dollars in less than a week.
They have established an account at SELCO titled ‘In Memory of Donovan Williams’ to continue helping to support his family.