This year, a memorial tree has been created by LOPA's Clinical Support Center staff to honor each 2018 tissue donor.
On Tuesday, July 31, a gathering was held at LOPA’s Lafayette office to hang leaves on the Tissue Donor Tree of Life. Every leaf that hangs on the tree represents the gifts donated by each of our tissue heroes.
This special project was developed for the CSC staff to help them have a 'connect to purpose'. Since their donation relationship occurs over the phone, the project connects them to the families they work with to facilitate tissue donation. Each CSC employee sends a handwritten thank you card to each family, and then a leaf is engraved with the donor's first name. Those leaves are hung on the Tree of Life, that the department has built on a wall just outside of the Clinical Support Center. The leaves of the 2018 donors were hung on the tree during the gathering. Leaves are also engraved to honor each tissue donor who has become a donor through a hospital. At the end of each year, the leaves will be removed from the tree and mailed to each donor's family in a special thank you card and the CSC staff will start a whole new Tree of Life for the next year.
One tissue donor can restore health and heal the lives of more than 75 people. Tissue donation can enhance lives in a number of ways, including saving lives of patients with severe burns, allowing athletes with torn ligaments or tendons to heal and regain strength, restore mobility to injured military men and women and repair dental issues.
Each year, approximately 39,000 tissue donors provide lifesaving and healing tissue for transplant. Approximately 175 million tissue transplants are performed each year.