More SC families say “YES” to organ donation in 2021 than any previous year; 479 lives saved, 45,000 lives healed by SC donors

Charleston, S.C., (January 19, 2022) – During unprecedented times, South Carolinians find the courage to give. On their darkest day after learning of the loss of a loved one, 831 South Carolina families in 2021, more than any previous year, consented for their loved one to give the gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation.

Their selflessness allowed We Are Sharing Hope SC (SHSC), the state’s nonprofit organ and tissue recovery service, to facilitate the life-changing legacies of 221 organ and 356 tissue donor heroes in 2021. SC organ donors saved 479 lives through 548 transplanted organs. Donated tissue from SC tissue donors helped heal the lives of more than 45,000 Americans.

“The generosity of our South Carolina donor heroes and donor families had a profound impact in 2021, touching the lives of thousands through life-saving and life-changing organ and tissue transplants,” said Dave DeStefano, President/CEO of SHSC. “As SC’s nonprofit organ and tissue recovery organization, We Are Sharing Hope SC is proud to serve the people of our state, honoring the legacies of our donor heroes and offering hope to those awaiting their second chance.”

SHSC and its hospital and professional partners overcame challenges caused by the global pandemic to continue the essential mission of organ, eye and tissue donation.

“Across the state, every hospital and hospital system has partnered with us to continue to make the gift of life possible for the people of South Carolina” said Kim Zaruca, SHSC Director of Hospital Services. “Together, we overcame every obstacle COVID presented by saving more lives through donation and transplantation. We have deep gratitude for our donors, their families and the truly dedicated healthcare partners that help us make a tremendous impact on the health of our community.”

The national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) of the United States remained the most efficient donation and transplantation system, innovating processes and technologies to save and improve more lives. In 2021, the U.S. surpassed 40,000 lives saved through organ transplantation for the first time.

Additionally, tissue transplants helped heal an approximate 2.5 million Americans, including breast cancer survivors, newborns with heart defects, wounded soldiers, injured athletes and burn victims.

One organ, eye and tissue donor can save eight lives, potentially restore the sight for 2 and improve the lives of 125. South Carolina residents can register their life-saving decision to donate at any SC DMV or on the iPhone Health app. For additional information on donation and to register visit SharingHopeSC.org.

More about We Are Sharing Hope SC—SHSC is South Carolina’s nonprofit, federally-designated organ and tissue recovery service. SHSC’s teams across the state make the gift of life possible in SC by honoring donor legacies and facilitating life-saving donations at every hospital in the state. Learn more at SharingHopeSC.org.


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