WGH Raises Donate Life Flag to Commemorate National Donate Life Month

March 29, 2024

WARREN, Pa. – Warren General Hospital staff, transplant recipients, and organ donor families gathered to raise the Donate Life flag on Thursday to commemorate National Donate Life Month.

“Celebrated in April, the annual observance encourages organ donation awareness, and honors organ donors and their families,” WGH said in a release. “Hospitals across the United States fly the Donate Life flag in April to signal their support of donation, to serve as a display of unity, remembrance, and hope, and to honor those touched by donation and transplantation.”

See the full ceremony:

Pam Hultman shared her family’s donation story having both a transplant recipient and a donor family.

“Organ donation has touched my life on several different levels since I was 14 years old,” Hultman said.

Hultman said her father-in-law and cousin-in-law were both recipients. Another cousin was placed on the waiting list on Wednesday, while an older cousin passed away while on the waiting list.

“And this brings me to the reason that I am here today,” Hultman said. “That is to tell the story of my stepson Caleb who passed away in June 2020 at age 25. Caleb was an amazing person with a huge smile and an even bigger heart. He went to St. Marys to help a friend replace a roof on a church. Caleb was only on the roof for a minute or two when, we believe, he suffered a seizure and fell.

“Five hours after his accident we were told his injuries were unsurvivable. After speaking with the doctors and CORE (Center for Organ Recovery & Education) staff, we knew organ donation was the right choice for Caleb. On this most difficult day, deciding to donate, giving the gifts of hope and life to other families was the best way to honor Caleb’s selfless spirit.”

Though the decision to donate was difficult, Hultman said, the CORE staff helped to ease the process.

“Everything CORE has done from the first moment we learned the extent of his injuries right up through today has been nothing short of amazing,” Hultman said. “These people are angels on Earth.”

CORE Director of Laboratory Services Kristen Stone said the theme for this year’s National Donate Life Month, Donors are SuperStars, was inspired by the night sky.

“Stars remind us that even on the darkest night, there is light, and just as stars illuminate the night sky, so too does donation giving hope and light to so many,” Stone said. “A donor’s generosity becomes a guiding star amidst the world of uncertainty. For donor families, donation promises that their loved ones’ light will never fade, that it will continue to shine brightly through the lives they touch. And for those who have received the precious gift of life, donation reflects the compassion and generosity of the human spirit.

“Just as the stars in the sky shine brighter together, so too do our collective efforts to save and heal lives through donation, and together we have proven that the future is bright. May the shining stars of donation, the donors, donor families, and all who champion this cause, not just in April, but year-round continue to eliminate our path ahead.”

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