Celebration of Life, organized by Mercy Hospital Joplin, Freeman Health System, Midwest Transplant Network and Saving Sight, provides an opportunity to honor those whose death gave life to another. The public is invited to jointhe celebration on Tuesday, April 19 at 6 p.m. in the Freeman Business Center Conference Room. The evening also supplies a platform for donor recipients to express their gratitude. All who have been impacted by the gift of organ, eye or tissue donation are welcome to attend.
Valerie Fleming will serve as one of two featured speakers. Her son, John Isaac, was tragically killed in an ATV accident in April 2014 at the age of 14. Fleming felt compelled to give others a second chance through her son, whose kidneys, liver, heart and corneas found suitable recipients.
Tiffany Jett will also share her story of life transformation after receiving a liver transplant. The Carl Junction fourth grade teacher and mother of two was diagnosed with a genetic liver disease and received the life-saving transplant in September 2015.
There is no cost to attend Celebration of Life, nor is an RSVP required. Those who participate are invited to create a square for a memorial quilt. Additionally, those who wish to send a picture of a loved one to include in a memorial presentation may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to Cathy Lucchi, Midwest Transplant Hospital Services Coordinator, in 2015, Mercy and Freeman patients saved the lives of 36 individuals. Approximately 2,350 lives across the country were touched by gifts of tissue donation from patients of the two health systems. Last year, 106 received the gift of sight through cornea conations.
Nationally, more than 120,000 people are waiting for an organ. One person is added to a waiting list every 10 minutes.
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2017 by Truven, an IBM Watson Health company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes 44 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.