2017 was a year filled with many records broken and headlines that seemed to break the news and cause numerous media frenzies. Not all of the news stories that you probably heard about in 2017 were good ones. Regardless, there were many positive things that happened last year, one of them being the exponential increase of people whose lives were affected and saved by organ donors. For many, opting for the organ donor symbol to be placed on your driver’s license is just another step in the process. Rarely do people really ever expect that an accident will occur to where they will in fact, become organ donors.
Among these people was 18 year old Victoria Arias. She was an honor student at her Arizona high school and was planning to head to Minnesota for college to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. Her initial dream was to save lives as a trauma surgeon. And while her dream was eventually realized, it wasn’t in the way she expected. One summer day, her mother found her unconscious in the backyard of their home. Sadly, Victoria never woke up.
However, her kidneys, liver, heart, and lungs were able to be donated and ended up saving the lives of four different people who were waiting to receive life saving organ transplants.
In 2017, over 10,000 people had their organs donated. This was the first year where over 10,000 people had donated their organs after they had died, states the United Network for Organ Sharing. And while last year there were a record amount of almost 35,000 organ transplants- some of which were from living donors- there are still about 115,000 Americans alone who are on the waiting lists to receive these life saving transplants.