GLASFORD, Ill. (WMBD)– In addition to frontline workers providing care for COVID-19 patients, critical organ and tissue donation is able to continue. A Central Illinois mom sheds light on how hope and inspiration can emerge from sadness and grief.
At 37-years-old, Nick Boyd of Glasford died unexpectedly on April 10. A proud member of pipefitters Local 597, his mom saying he was a gentle soul with a giving heart.
“When he walked into a room he was able to light it up with his smile,” said Sue Boyd. “He was a beautiful young man, inside and out.”
It’s that giving nature which led Sue to honor Nick’s wish of organ donation.
“Kind of that little bit of shining light in a really dark place in your life when that happens,” said Nick’s mom.
Gift of Hope, an organ and tissue donor network, works to coordinate organ and tissue services to Illinoisans and Hoosiers. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, donations are seeing a decrease.
“We’re running at about 80% of our normal organ donation and transplant numbers,” said Gift of Hope’s CEO Kevin Cmunt. “I suspect it’s going to stay about there for a while.”
The not-for-profit organization quickly modified donor screening and testing protocols to ensure they’re recovering and placing healthy organs.
“To have a case, an organ donation case that changes the end of that loss story from one of a tragic loss to renewal and life, really helps kind of bring spirits up,” said Cmunt.
“It’s not as unpleasant as one would think it would be,” said Boyd. “It’s actually a gift of hope.”
Nick’s donation saved three lives. His right kidney was donated to a male in his 60s. His left kidney donated to a female in her 50s and his liver went to a female in her 40s.
More about Gift of Hope
Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is a not-for-profit organ procurement organization that coordinates organ and tissue donation and provides public education on donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana. As one of 58 OPOs that make up the nation’s donation system, we work with 180 hospitals and serve 12 million people in our donation service area. Since 1986, we have saved the lives of more than 23,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients through our efforts.
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