Each month, LifeCenter Northwest selects a LifeSaver Award winner. This award honors and recognizes those who demonstrate a commitment to improving donation outcomes and culture through their actions, time and energy.
We are pleased to present this month’s LifeSaver Award to Jim Cornwell, who is a Staff Chaplain at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital in Tacoma, Wash.
During a recent donation case, LifeCenter Northwest had begun talking with the family of a registered donor who was undergoing brain death testing following a traumatic brain injury. As it became clear that this patient would soon be declared brain dead, the grieving family of the patient was struggling to accept the loss of their loved one as well as the donation decision the patient had made. This case was at risk of becoming a donor registry opposition situation.
At this crucial time, Jim generously spent an hour talking with the family and helping them work through their feelings of moral distress. Jim took the time to connect with the family and carefully explored their conflicting feelings. He helped give voice to the family’s concerns while providing needed time and space, eventually allowing them to realize how donation would celebrate their loved one’s life and spirit within the context of the family’s faith. Jim also provided spiritual validation in a unique, compassionate way.
“Jim really did save this case,” said Rachel Martinez, a LifeCenter Northwest Donation and Family Advocate. “He was able to approach the family from a spiritual angle and provided them with a lot of comfort and understanding. He was so willing to jump in and help as much as we needed.”
In the end, the family fully supported honoring their loved one’s donation decision and they were happy they could give the gift of life. Ultimately, this donor went on to donate three organs and save two lives, in addition to improving many more lives through the donation of tissue.
We are proud to honor Jim with this LifeSaver Award, which recognizes the profound compassion he showed to a family in need, providing them with needed time and space to embrace donation’s ability to provide hope in the midst of tragedy.