Save up to 8 lives: Become an organ donor that others might live

Published 7:23 pm Friday, April 26, 2024

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On April 22, Troy Regional Medical Center held a Donate Life flag raising ceremony on the hospital grounds in recognition of April as Donate Life Month

Janet Stewart, TRMC, director of marketing and communications, said National Donate Life Month is about the importance of registering individual decisions to be a donor, honoring deceased and living donors, and celebrating the lives they saved. It is the generosity of donors and donor families that makes saving lives through transplantation possible.

The Donate Life flag serves as a display of unity, remembrance and a symbol to honor heroic organ, eye and tissue donors.  Jody Millette and Michell Godsave were so honored.

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Here are their stories – one of life saving; one of life giving

Jody Millette of the Zion Chapel area has been given the gift of life three times: first by God and twice through lives lost.

Jody was waiting for a liver transplant that could save her life. For her, it was difficult knowing that someone had to die for her to live.

One liver match was found.

“But, I was told to be prepared whether or not the family would make the donation of the liver if their loved one didn’t make it,” Jody said. “I was preparing for that when I was told that another match had been found. A liver from a young person.

The liver transplant was a success. In the hallway, Jody reached out to the mother of the young man to thank her for her son’s gift of hope for her life.

The liver transplant was a success and Jody was given a second chance at life, thanks to the caring spirt of a young man’s family. She prayed for them in their loss.

“I didn’t even know the young man’s name but I am thankful, and will forever be, that his parents had enough love in their hearts to give me a second chance at life,” Jody said.

But, Jody had another battle to fight. She had kidney function problems that would, hopefully, be regained after the liver transplant. But that didn’t happen.

That was a very dark place in her ife. So, in 2012, she was put on dialysis on the outside chance that a kidney match could be found.

Already with a liver transplant, Jody knew that the odds of her getting a second organ match were not likely at all.

“I knew that people have died with donor cards in their wallets and I thought how many lives could have been saved,” Jody said. “That was a another dark place in my life. I knew that I probably would not get a kidney but I was truly blessed a second time. I am alive today because someone that I will never know signed a donor card or a family made a life-saving decision for someone they didn’t know. I am alive because others cared enough to let their loved ones continue living through me.”

Jody Millette has been twice blessed because someone somewhere donated an organ that saved her life.

Michelle Godsave is blessed knowing that her son’s decision early in life is helping others to live better lives….or to live.

Michelle Godsave’s son, Weston Brown, lost his life in a work-related accident February 2020.  He was 19 years old.

“Back when Weston got his learner’s permit, he had already made the decision to be an organ donor,” Michelle said. “Weston was a loving, giving person and was always willing to help others. He made the decision to be an organ donor at that early age with no reservations.”

Because of Weston’s age, he probably saved up to eight lives.

Although there is no way to ease the hurt and a fill the hole left by Weston’s loss, Godsave said, however, she takes comfort in knowing that others had a chance at life because, a young boy, Weston in Alabama made the decision to be an organ donor.

Godsave said Weston has a little boy and he will, one day, know and understand that his dad made the decision to be a donor so that others could live. In death, Weston Brown still lives.