Pictured: Organ recipient Henry Harris, left, and Lynn Finley.
Sumter, S.C—Palmetto Health Tuomey, The Tuomey Foundation and the City of Sumter will collaborate to raise awareness about organ donation during a “Lunch and Learn” at City Centre, located next to the Sumter Opera House, at noon, Wednesday, April 19. Cost of event is $6 for a Chick-fil-a lunch. Reservations are required by Friday, April 14 at 1 p.m. Reserve lunch by contacting Chris Moore at Chris.Moore@PalmettoHealth.org or 803-774-8665.
Honored guests for the event are Sumter residents Lynn Finley and Jessalyn Taylor who both have been impacted by organ donation. Lynn’s son, Jesse, became a donor after he was killed in Columbia. A few years ago, Lynn was able to meet her son’s heart recipient, Henry Harris. Jessalyn is Henry’s daughter. Both women will be speaking about their familys’ journey and the importance of organ donation.
According to Donate Life, nearly all Americans–95 percent–are in favor of being an organ donor, but fewer than half are registered. Donate Life reminds the community that those awaiting a lifesaving transplant may need organs, tissue or even bone marrow and that they are waiting on a second chance at life.
“There are so many people who are hanging on to life, waiting for some type of transplant,” said Betsy Cain, director of Surgical Services for Palmetto Health Tuomey. “This is truly the gift of life that you can give to another person.”
While Tuomey does not perform transplants, the clinical staff works closely with families who are making the important decision to donate. The surgical team will harvest organs or tissues from qualified donors, and then the organs are transported to those in need.
Cain added, “A lot of things have to line up for a successful organ transplant. Not only does the donor have to have viable organs, but there has to be an exact match for us to harvest. We hope that more people will sign up so that our ability to save lives right here in Sumter will grow.”
Cain emphasized how important organ donation is. She said, “It is one of the most precious gifts you can give. Life! You’re giving life. If you no longer need those organs or tissues, why not give them to someone in desperate need?”
For more information about organ donation, visit www.donatelifesc.org. For more information about the luncheon, contact Chris Moore at Chris.Moore@PalmettoHealth.org or 803-774-8665.
About Palmetto Health
Palmetto Health, the largest health care system in the South Carolina Midlands region and one of the state’s largest employers, comprises more than 15,000 team members, physicians and volunteers working together to fulfill Palmetto Health’s Vision: To be remembered by each patient as providing the care and compassion we want for our families and ourselves. The system includes six acute-care hospitals in the Midlands—Palmetto Health Baptist, Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, Palmetto Health Heart Hospital, Palmetto Health Richland and Palmetto Health Tuomey. In the South Carolina Upstate region, Palmetto Health also co-owns Baptist Easley Hospital. Recognized nationally as one of the best places to work and receive care, the system also includes the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group, the region’s largest multispecialty group, which serves as the entry point to the health care system with more than 500 providers serving patients in more than 80 practices and nearly 100 locations. Palmetto Health also is supported by two 501 (c)(3) foundations, and trains the next generation of physicians through its 24 residency and fellowship programs affiliated with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. For more information, visit PalmettoHealth.org or call 803-296-CARE (2273).