Children’s Health recently hosted its inaugural Celebration of Life event at the Moore Auditorium on its Dallas campus. The event was created to increase awareness of April’s Donate Life month while honoring families who made the decision to donate their child’s organs while at the hospital.
Children’s Health partnered with the Southwest Transplant Alliance, its organ procurement organization, to put on the event. More than 100 people from recipient and donor families attended, along with Children’s Health and UT Southwestern medical staff and executive leadership.
The event was emceed by Sonia Azad, WFAA reporter, who spoke about raising awareness for the organ donation cause, patient-family engagement, and recognizing and appreciating care teams for their services.
Dr. Dev Desai, director of the pediatric transplant program at UT Southwestern, was recognized for leading the program for 10 years. Children’s health transplant and ICU teams also were recognized with artwork as a “thank you” for their care of donor and transplant patients.
Currently, Children’s Health is the only pediatric program in North Texas to do kidney, liver and heart transplants. More than 500 pediatric kidney and 200 heart transplants have been performed at Children’s Health.
Bill Pelley, director of solid organ transplants at Children’s Health, says organ and tissue donation affects many care teams at the hospital. “[The] solid organ transplant, heart center, and critical care units play a vital role in giving a second chance at life to a child through a new organ,” Pelley told D CEO Healthcare. “With our first-ever Celebration of Life, we sought to honor this life-saving gift along with our transplant patients and family members who made the selfless decision to donate. Our patients and their families demonstrate the incredible impact of these heroes.”