SAN ANTONIO, Texas
— Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA), the organ procurement organization that provides organ donation and recovery services in Central and South Texas, announced that in 2019, a record-breaking 207 individuals saved lives through organ donation. This is the fourth consecutive year of an increase in donors.
These heroes - who were donors in TOSA's 56-county service area that spans from Waco to the Rio Grande Valley - provided 620 life-saving transplants for patients who urgently needed them.
"This accomplishment is a true team effort. From our communications team who educate the community about donation while registering new donors, to our hospital development staff who ensure our hospitals properly assist us in the procurement process and to our clinical staff who maintain a donor's organs for recovery helped make this happen," said TOSA CEO Dr. Joseph Nespral. "Ultimately though, none of this is possible without the generosity and grace of our registered organ donors and the families who made the decision to save lives."
For San Antonio mom Aisha Williams, making the decision to donate her son's organs meant they could also help a friend through directed donation, where a donor family requests that an organ be donated to a specific transplant patient on the waiting list.
"It is just incredible and inspiring to me to know that my son's organs made a difference and an impact in other lives, like Troy's who we donated to," Williams said of her son, Hezekiah Williams, who became a donor in January. "When donation was presented to me, I didn't know a lot about it, but TOSA stayed with me and my family and gave us the knowledge we needed to make the decision. Even today TOSA has been with me through the journey."
TOSA's increases are part of a nationwide trend. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the national organization that manages the organ transplant system, nearly 11,900 people became organ donors upon their death, making it a ninth consecutive record-breaking year for deceased donation in the U.S.
Despite the record increases, the waiting list for transplants grows. Nationwide, 113,800 people are awaiting a life-saving organ transplant, including more than 10,000 Texans.