LifeCenter Northwest CEO Kevin O’Connor speaks at a Donation Celebration in Seattle, WA. LCNW holds 5 annual Donation Celebrations that bring together the donation community for healing and connection.

LifeCenter Northwest (LCNW) is proud to celebrate their fourth record breaking year in a row for both organ and tissue donation. LCNW facilitated 640 lives saved through organs transplantation in 2015. In addition to the highest number of organs transplanted, the organ procurement organization achieved all-time record numbers for the number of organ donors and the number of tissue donors recovered in 2015.

The life-saving gifts were recovered from 200 generous organ donors throughout our designated service area. This number represents a 23.5 percent increase in the number of organ donors over the past two years. In addition to these generous organ donors, LifeCenter Northwest coordinated tissue donation from 525 selfless tissue donors. These donors and their gifts can benefit up to 31,500 people

Our staff at LifeCenter Northwest worked around the clock to make these donations possible, and we held donor families as well as recipients in our hearts as we did this work.

“The continuous improvement we have seen over these past couple of years is the direct result of the tireless work of our talented and dedicated staff, working hand in glove with the larger medical community, all focused intently on helping others in need,” says Kevin O’Connor, President & CEO of LifeCenter Northwest.

Ben Oldham, a Family Support Coordinator at LCNW, shares a laugh with donor wife Jacinta. Jacinta's husband, Leo, was honored at the 2016 Donate Life Rose Parade.
Ben Oldham, a Family Support Coordinator at LCNW, shares a laugh with donor wife Jacinta. Jacinta’s husband, Leo, was honored at the 2016 Donate Life Rose Parade.

Stories like that of the Conover family, from Woodland, WA inspire our work. Jack Conover, now 8, received a heart transplant after being diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Jack underwent multiple open heart surgeries before he was placed on the transplant waiting list. On June 14, 2015, Jack was given a new heart at Seattle Children’s Hospital, thanks to the generosity of a donor family. When Jack’s mother, Kelly, speaks of the gift her son received she said, “Thank you for bringing joy to others life, while you experience sadness and loss. We can’t thank our donor family enough for giving our son a second chance at life. We hope to someday meet them, to thank them, hug them and let them know that their loved one will always live on”.

Transplant recipients like Jack, and his family, provide the motivation for LifeCenter Northwest staff to work diligently to make organ and tissue donation possible. Each day we are learning new techniques to improve the care we provide to donor families and our relationships with partner hospitals.

“We are incredibly proud of our progress over the past few years, and we are especially grateful to the donors and their families, who give the gift of life. And we have deep appreciation for the exceptional transplant programs in Seattle and Spokane who partner with us in this life-saving work.” says Kevin.  “Having the opportunity to make such a profound difference in the lives of so many people motivates us every day, but there is still much work to be done.  Our resolve to continue to help more and more people is stronger than ever.  We encourage people to take time to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor and talk to their loved ones about their wishes.”

We would like to extent a big thank you to each of the transplant centers in our region-Seattle Children’s Hospital, University of Washington Medical Center, Swedish Medical Center, Virginia Mason Medical Center, and Sacred Heart Medical Center-for their partnership and dedication to saving lives through donation.