Taking part in Friday’s MORA flag raising at Forrest General were, from left, Rodger Moore, Pastoral Care coordinator; Joel Stevens, MORA representative and Mary Margaret Hyer, Miss Mississippi.
HATTIESBURG, MS (Friday, April 16, 2021) – Forrest General hosted a MORA flag dedication at the hospital’s main entrance on Friday, April 16, to honor donors and recognize the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation during National Donate Life Month. Special guest for the event was Hattiesburg’s own Miss Mississippi, Mary Margaret Hyer, whose platform is promoting the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation. Her official impact initiative is “Advocate, Celebrate, Donate: Diminishing the Donor Organ Deficit.” Hyer spoke about her family’s experience with organ donation.
“It is so vitally important that Mississippians register as organ, eye and tissue donors,” said Hyer. “There are more than 114,000 people in the U.S. currently on the waiting list to receive an organ transplant.”
Hyer shared the story of how her mother, Margaret, became an organ donor for her mother, Hyer’s grandmother, in 2012. “That was such a wonderful gift to our family – the gift of life. Since then I’ve been inspired to share that story and spread the message that it is imperative for Mississippians to register to be donors. Today, on National Blue and Green Day, we commemorate all those individuals who have been able to give the gift of life by being donors and those who are waiting on life-saving transplants.”
The Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) teamed up with Forrest General and other hospital partners across the state to promote National Donate Life Month during April. Throughout the month, they are placing emphasis on the need for individuals of legal age to indicate their desire to donate by signing up on the Mississippi Donor Registry at www.donatelifems.org.
According to MORA, a single tissue donor can help more than 75 people, and 48,000 patients have their sight restored through corneal transplants each year. Last year, more than 36,500 transplants changed the lives of patients and their families (from more than 10,700 deceased and 6,800 living donors), but more than 110 thousand people still wait for transplants. That number is growing with another person added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.
“I would like to thank Forrest General and the families who have given the gift of life. They have had a huge impact on individuals and families in our community over the past year,” said Joel Stevens, MORA representative.
For more information about organ donation, visit www.donatelifems.org and to learn more about Forrest General, visit forrestgeneral.com.