Special to Iredell Free News

In observance of National Donate Life Month, Iredell Health System hosted a flag-raising ceremony on Tuesday followed by a moment of silence to honor the selfless act of organ donation and celebrate the profound impact it has on individuals and families across the nation.

Since 2006 the Donate Life Flag has been recognized as a national symbol of unity, remembrance, and hope while honoring those touched by organ, eye, and tissue donation and transplantation. Over 50,000 Donate Life Flags have flown across the nation.

“Flag-raising ceremonies such as this one honor donors, their families, those waiting, and recipients who received the gift of life and celebrate what Donate Life Month means,” said Meeky Powell, a representative of Miracles in Sight, one of the largest eye banks in the world.

The ceremony also coincided with National Healthcare Decisions Day. Community members who attended the ceremony were able to make the impactful decision to sign up to be an organ donor. They were also able to grab an advance directive information packet. This form allows individuals to express their wishes for future health care and to guide decisions about that care.

“We would like to recognize the strength and courage of those waiting and honor the hundreds of North Carolina donors and donor families who have so selflessly given the gift of life in healing through organ, eye, and tissue donation. During 2023, HonorBridge had a record-breaking year with 388 organ donors, 1,003 organs transplanted, and 912 lives saved,” said Stacey Donavant, hospital liaison for HonorBridge, an organ procurement organization.

Nationally, there are over 103,000 men, women, and children on the transplant waiting list, and 17 of those individuals die each day waiting for a transplant. Every organ donor can save eight lives and enhance over 75 more.

“We want to thank the over five million North Carolinians who have said ‘yes’ and registered as an organ, eye, and tissue donor. Throughout April, please make it your mission to speak to at least one person about registering their decision to become a donor. Together, we are united in a mission to save and heal lives and create a culture where donation becomes a fundamental human responsibility,” said John Green, president and CEO of Iredell Health System.

Become a Donor

You can say “Yes” to becoming an organ, eye, and tissue donor at the DMV, and a red heart will be placed on your driver’s license. Alternatively, you can register online at honorbridge.org/registerme. Once registered, make sure to share your life-saving decision with loved ones.

About Iredell Health System

Iredell Health System includes Iredell Memorial Hospital; Iredell Mooresville; two urgent care centers; Iredell Home Health; Iredell Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center; Community and Corporate Wellness; Occupational Medicine; the Iredell Physician Network and more. Iredell Memorial Hospital is the largest and only nonprofit hospital in Iredell County. The comprehensive healthcare facility has 247 beds; more than 1,800 employees; and has 260 physicians representing various specialties. Centers of excellence include Women’s and Children’s; Cardiovascular; Cancer; Surgical Services and Wellness & Prevention. The Health System’s second campus, Iredell Mooresville, is home to the area’s only 24-hour urgent care facility, as well as an ambulatory surgery center, imaging center, rehabilitation services, and physician practices. The mission of Iredell Health System is to inspire wellbeing. For a comprehensive list of services and programs, visit www.iredellhealth.org.