Each year, Saving Sight works to coordinate the eye donation process for donors in partner hospitals across Missouri, Kansas and central Illinois. Saving Sight partner relations coordinators meet with the partner hospitals as the year comes to a close to honor the gifts of their donors on a national stage during the annual Tournament of Roses – Rose Parade.
“This year our PRCs met with an administrator at 26 of our partner hospitals and partnered with Midwest Transplant Network to meet with 14 shared hospital partners. The number of hospital administrators who participate in this program is growing each year. It’s a great way for Saving Sight to promote in the local communities the culture of donation within these hospitals,” said Michala Stoker, Director of Partner Relations.
Saving Sight asked each partner hospital to dedicate a rose in honor of the hospital’s eye donors that was carried on the annual Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Each signed a vial with a personal message from the hospital in memory of the hospital’s eye donors. This year, the vial carried a white Akito rose on the Rose Parade Float to honor the donors and help spread the simple, life-giving message that eye, organ and tissue donation heals and saves lives.
“It’s an incredible gift these donors make through eye donation. They forever change the lives of corneal transplant recipients,” said Saving Sight Chief Executive Officer Tony Bavuso. “We’re excited to work with our partner hospitals to honor that gift by dedicating a rose that will be seen around the world as part of this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade and serve as a testament to the healing power of the gift of sight.”
The 128th Annual Tournament of Roses – Rose Parade was broadcast around the world from Pasadena, California on January 2, 2017. The 14th Annual Donate Life Rose Parade Float won the Theme Trophy for their Teammates in Life float that honored the heroes who helped others through the gift of sight and the gift of life.
Across our service region, Saving Sight recovered, processed and placed 3,016 corneas for transplant in 2015. Because of the compassion of donors, families and staff at partner hospitals, Saving Sight changed the lives of an average of eight people every day through the gift of sight.
Over 48,000 corneal transplants took place across the country to restore sight for those in need last year and more than 15,000 Americans gave life through organ donation. Still, today more than 120,000 men, women children await lifesaving organ transplants in the United States. If you haven’t registered as an eye, organ and tissue donor yet, you can make a difference by choosing to give life today at registerme.org.