“Enormous” need for organ donations, according to specialists

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Organ donation isn’t as easy as checking a box. Only about 20% of deaths in hospitals are eligible for organ donation.

And there is a huge need right now. In Illinois, more than 4,000 people are on the waiting list.

That’s why an expert said Ross Booker’s decision was so significant. He was a tow truck driver and volunteer firefighter who was killed while clearing the site of an accident on Saturday.

“Being able to be part of this journey with his family was very bittersweet…but there is nowhere I would have preferred to be with them,” said Becky Ames, Organ Donation Liaison. “They are an incredibly strong family. And to be able to overcome their grief and make these selfless decisions in honor of others is truly inspiring.

She said that in a hospital the size of Carle, there are only about 18 to 25 successful donations a year. And it is important to inform your relatives if you wish to be a donor.

Every nine minutes in the United States, someone is added to the national transplant waiting list. Currently, there are over 106,000 people on this list. 17 of them die every day while waiting for an organ transplant. Experts say each organ donor can save up to eight lives.

For more information on organ donation, you can visit Gift of Hope.

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