BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling New England Donor Services, which coordinates organ and tissue donation in New England.
There have been a number of medical advances in the organ donor and transplant field.
New England Donor Services Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francis Delmonico says when he started back in 1971 it was only a research effort and death was the expectation if someone had a fatal disease. The possibility of transplantation was hope to avoid certain death. The rejection rate at that time was 80 percent.
That rate has vastly improved and organ transplants have become more common. Delmonico stated, “The predictability now of transplantation is lifesaving, life changing, life renewing, restoring an individual to well-being that they can be productive and effective again in their lives. So that change is quite dramatic.”
New England Donor Services also meets with potential donor families at local hospitals.
“Our mission is to get in there and help the family and empower the family and support them,” says Family Services and Outreach Coordinator Ingrid Palacios. She stated they also provide educational programs in diverse communities.
“We are trying to get in to those communities, to demystify all the misconception and misbeliefs about donation or things we saw in a movie,” Palacios outlined. She says donor families are able to give the gift of life.
“When we talk about donation, to see the little light, the sparkle in their eyes when they realize, Oh my God, there is a meaning, something good can come out of this tragedy,” Palacios concluded.
WBZ NewsRadio1030's Doug Cope reports