My father had his first full-blown heart attack when I was 8-years-old. In the years 8 years following, he had multiple open-heart surgeries, bypasses, stents, and even a pacemaker. As a child, I don't remember a time where my daddy wasn't in the hospital. A lot of people are squeamish about donating their organs, however, because of the generosity of someone I'll never know, I was able to enjoy 16 extra years with my precious father after his heart transplant in 1990... it's a gift that truly keeps on giving!

While I know not everyone is a candidate for organ or tissue donation, I strongly suggest becoming a donor. I can attest personally to how much it can affect a person's life and well-being!

According to LOPA, the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, thanks to 233 donors, they were able to transplant 754 organs and provide 102 organs for research... that's big news! Here's more from Kristen Heintz, Public Relations Manager for LOPA:

Thanks to the generosity of our donor families, and all those who said yes by registering themselves as donors, LOPA set a new record for organ donation in Louisiana. We provided 754 organs for transplant, which were gifted by 233 donors. Additionally, we were able to recover 102 organs that were not suitable for transplant but are being used for research and medical advancement. We also had an incredible 436 tissue donors throughout the state whose gifts will restore health and enhance the lives of thousands. “We are grateful to be able to help so many waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and our thoughts are always with the donors and their families who make these second chances possible,” said Kelly Ranum, CEO of LOPA.“However, with over 2,000 still waiting for a transplant, just in Louisiana, we know we must keep striving to get more people registered and ensure the family of every potential donor is supported through the process.” In addition to a record breaking year, 2019 was LOPA’s first full year in their new corporate office in Covington, LA. The new location houses our Donor Care Center, one of only 10 in the US, and is the future site for our Donor Memorial Park. We also launched the LOPA Foundation on January 1st of this year. The LOPA Foundation will solicit and receive all financial donations to support LOPA’s efforts to educate and celebrate the everlasting gift of organ and tissue donation. “I am so proud of the hard work of our team and generosity of our community, working together to educate and encourage Louisianians to help us Make Life Happen,” said Ranum. “Our donor families continually inspire us to do our best, and we will keep raising the bar in honor of their donor heroes.” Founded in April 1988, LOPA is the only federally designated, not for profit organ and tissue recovery agency for the state of Louisiana. LOPA recovers donated organs and tissues, places them for transplant, and works with families throughout the entire donation process. The agency manages the Louisiana Donor Registry and plays a vital role in educating the medical community and the general public about donation. LOPA’s core purpose is MAKING LIFE HAPPEN.