A Reader asks:
The recent plane crash in Lake Michigan revealed that a lung donated in Wisconsin was being transported to Michigan. For several years, Wisconsin built up its organ donor program by emphasizing that Wisconsin residents would be given first priority for organs donated by Wisconsin residents. Has that situation changed? If so, how?
Great question, Gwen and thanks for asking! As I have recently started watching the new show Heartland – organ donation has been on my mind as well and I find the topic very interesting.
To research your questions I called The Wisconsin Donor Network and spoke with a very helpful woman, Colleen. In short – her answer was “No, that procedure has not changed.”
She further explained that when a donor becomes available and organs are viable for transplant, the first places they check for recipients are St. Luke’s in Milwaukee and Froedtert and Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. If there are no eligible recipients at those locations the search goes on to UW-Madison and then regionally (Michigan, Illinois, etc.). Then, if there are still no candidates, a national search begins.
So, organ transplant speaking, we can certainly say that Wisconsin does it’s best to serve their own first. Not only do we have each other’s backs – but our hearts, lungs and livers as well!!
On a personal note – I urge everyone to become a donor…it could be the best thing you ever do!! Have a heart – give a heart J