The Southwest Transplant Alliance, the nonprofit that helps coordinate organ transplants after a donor becomes available, set a record for the most transplants in state history in 2015. It’s the second straight year to set a record.
STA, based in Dallas, helped transplant 1,210 lives from 380 donors. That tops the record it set last year of 1,123. Southwest Transplant Alliance partners with 11 transplant centers and more than 200 hospitals in its federally-designated region: It includes North Texas, Beaumont, Bryan/College Station, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Galveston, Midland/Odessa, Temple, Wichita Falls, and Tyler. Last March, I followed a heart transplant that was organized by the STA.
Its employees help guide the donor’s families through the process from start to finish, even booking flights to take care of logistics for the transplant surgeons. And they also work to increase awareness of the need for more donors. More than 12,000 Texans are awaiting a transplant, and nationwide that number balloons to 120,000.
“This isn’t just a number. It represents all those who were given the gift of life,” read a statement from Patti Niles, CEO and president of STA. “We are very grateful to all those who are registered organ donors and for all the families that have made the incredibly generous decision to donate.”