HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - April is National Donate Life Month, a time to celebrate those who have saved lives by becoming organ, tissue and eye donors.
Friday, Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg held a Mississippi Organ Recovery Association flag-raising ceremony to commemorate the month-long observance.
There are more than 114,000 people in the U.S. who are desperately in need of an organ transplant and groups like MORA work at encouraging Mississippians to register as donors.
The guest speaker for the day’s event was Miss Mississippi Mary Margaret Hyer, whose mother donated a kidney to her own mother in 2012. She says it had an impact on her life and wants others to become volunteers.
“There are a number of ways you can register as an organ, eye and tissue donor,” Hyer said. “The most common way is by signing up when you go to renew your driver’s license. Mine actually expires tomorrow, so I have to go and get a new one, but you can do it there at your local department of public safety.
“You can also register online at registerme.org and it takes less than two minutes. So that’s the way I prefer. We’re on our phones all the time, you can do it right from your phone.”
In 2020, there were 284 organs transplanted in Mississippi and nationally, over 33,000 lives were saved by organ donations.