Mom to share son's organ donation story | Community Spirit
In 2001, dying 20-year-old man helped 55 people
Twelve years ago, Mary Myskewitz and her family were faced with something they never expected: their 20-year-old son was dying and his physician was asking if he had spoken to them about organ donation.
"All of the family present answered yes in unison," recalled Myskewitz. "The bell went off and we knew we had to do it. That was easy because we had talked to him in the past and knew it was his desire."
Myskewitz's son Rob was able to help more than 55 people with that one decision thanks to his organ, eye and tissue donation.
In an event Thursday, as part of National Donate Life Month, Myskewitz will speak at 11:15 a.m. in the main lobby at St. Mary's Hospital. She said she hopes to spread the word about organ donation impact.
"Just 2 percent of people die in a way that makes the gift of life possible," she said. "That’s what makes Rob's death so amazing. To think of the chain of events that had to happen to make his organs available to help so many people is a miracle in itself."
"A good time to do it is when young people are getting their driver's license," she said. "Kids can also learn how mom and dad feel about the subject as well and that can help them decide."
In addition to Myskewitz's presentation, at the event will also be representatives from St. Mary's and UW Organ and Tissue Donation to offer more information.
To legally authorize organ, tissue and eye donation, hospital representatives encouraged people to register on Wisconsin’s donor registry at www.yesIwillwisconsin.com.
Organ donation statistics:
- Last year UW-OTD worked with 115 donor families, resulting in 443 organs transplanted
- Nationally, more than 117,000 people are on the waiting list for a transplant, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing
- In Wisconsin, more than 1,800 people are on the organ waiting list, according to Donate Life Wisconsin
- DLW also said every day in the U.S., 19 people die waiting for an organ transplant
- In 2012, the number of donors nationally was 14,014 and there were 28,052 transplants in those 12 months, UNOS said