WESTON, W.Va. – One organ donor can save eight lives and heal up to 75 others. That’s why Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital is honoring West Virginia Donor Day on 8/1. Currently, there at least 500 West Virginians waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and there is a critical shortage of registered organ donors across the country.
For one Lewis County family, organ donation has impacted their lives in a big way. Roger Bailey, who currently lives in Virginia, needed a liver transplant and his sisters Vicky and Debbie continue to provide support through his recovery.
Roger had inherited hemochromatosis, a disorder in which the body can build up too much iron in the skin, heart, liver, pancreas, pituitary gland, and joints. Until another member of their family passed away from the disease, they were unaware of the genetic problem. After being tested, Roger was found to have it.
“We realized that Roger was getting seriously ill in the past year-and-a-half. He became extremely jaundiced, weak, and disoriented. To top it all off, he had COVID-19 and was deathly ill,” said Vicky. “Roger has great faith and felt that he would survive. I do feel his belief in God made his survival possible.”
Roger’s health quickly deteriorated to the point where he was placed on the list for a liver transplant. Because of his illness, he was hospitalized before finding a new liver. After only ten days, he learned that he would be receiving a new liver. When Roger’s family received the news, they immediately made their way to the hospital.
“We wanted to be there for Roger and were so excited to see pictures of him after the transplant. He looked better than we had seen him look in ages,” Vicky said.
Roger was fortunate to receive a life-saving donation. That is why on August 1, the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) is challenging West Virginians to come together to support organ, eye, and tissue donation and register as donors.
To register to be an organ donor today, visit donatelifewv.org/register, visit your local DMV, or ask when purchasing a WV Hunting & Fishing License.