Butterfly release honors, celebrates organ donors

LOPA butterfly release

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - It’s been an emotional day in Shreveport to recognize and celebrate organ donors. That involved a ‘butterfly release’ in their honor. It is all part of the National Donate Life Month.

The symbolism of a butterfly release was not lost on those who turned out for this ceremony - a perfect metaphor for the transition and transformation involved in organ donation.

A donor hero spotlight focused on 4-year-old Jackson Griffin, who died in a tragic accident back in 2013.

His father, Taylor, spoke about the lives saved from Jackson's organs.

"After about 3 years we were finally able to meet the lives that Jackson saved. He saved a, (turn to wife) 'was he 18 months old?' Nine-month-old baby in Nebraska. He got his heart."

Taylor Griffin then listed several other recipients who received Jackson's organs, telling the gathering they keep in contact with many of those families.

The Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, LOPA, along with Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport hosted the event this Tuesday morning, April 16, which began in the BRI Atrium before moving outside for that butterfly release.

The agency's donation services coordinator, Renee Sugg, wanted the public to know they're hoping such events can attract even more organ donors.

"If you would like to be a donor and that is something you would desperately like to do please discuss it with your families and let your entire family know this is something you have decided to do and that you have put yourself on the registry."

LOPA reports more than 21-hundred people are waiting right now on a life-saving organ transplant in Louisiana.

Organizers told us such events also give them a chance to dispel common myths about organ donations.

One big myth: If doctors see you're an organ donor they won't try to save your life. LOPA says False. Donations can't even be a consideration until after 'brain death.'

Another myth: That your family won't be able to have an open casket funeral. False again according to LOPA.

And a third common myth: That you can be too old to be a donor. The truth: There's no age limit.

Last year alone more than 20 organ donors at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport saved 52 lives, also according to LOPA.

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