Citizens Memorial Hospital | Vitality | Spring 2023

12 VITALITY Spring 2023 ORGAN DONATION Organ donation: Your questions answered Becoming an organ donor is one of the most generous things you could ever do. But you might wonder what’s involved—and why you should consider it. If so, here’s the information you need. Q: How can I become a donor? A: Designate your decision on your driver’s license and state donor registry (if available) . Also talk to your family and ask them to carry out your wishes. Q: Can I become a donor if I have a medical condition? A: Chances are, yes. Only a few medical conditions—such as having active cancer—absolutely rule you out as a donor. Doctors will examine your organs and determine if they are suitable for donation at the time of your death. Q: Are there any costs to my family for donation? A: No. Your family pays for your medical care and funeral costs— not for organ donation. Q: How can I learn more about being an organ donor? A: Go to Lifesaving nurse receives life-giving organ donation Shawna Miller, R.N., has devoted her life to providing lifesaving care as a nurse. She continues to save lives because of an organ donor who gave her new life with a liver transplant 6 years ago. Miller has worked as a nurse for 34 years—14 in the intensive care unit, 16 in the emergency room and the past four years at the CMH Infusion Center. Receiving a liver transplant gave Miller a new perspective on life and her profession. “God has given me this second chance,” Miller says. “I always felt like I was a good nurse, but I wanted to be a great nurse. I wanted to nurse from empathy and not from sympathy.” Doctors diagnosed Miller with primary biliary cirrhosis almost 20 years ago. While treatment slowed the disease’s progression, doctors said she eventually would need a liver transplant. In late 2016, she began the process of being put on a transplant list. After completing an extensive testing process to ensure that she was a good candidate for a transplant, she was placed on the list in May 2017 and received a donation in just 2½ weeks. Her daughter, Jamie Jones, R.N., is a nurse in CMH’s intensive care unit, where Miller once worked as the director for four years. Through her work in the ICU, Jones offers patients a unique perspective from her personal connection to organ donation. “I always encourage patients to consider organ and tissue donation,” she says. “I have even shared my mom’s story a few times. If you could save someone’s life, why wouldn’t you want to give it? “My mother would not be here today if it was not for organ donation. It was such an amazing gift. There are so many people who have so much life left to live. I have loved watching her live life and seeing all she has gotten to experience because of organ donation.” More than 75 lives can be saved and healed by one donor, according to Mid-America Transplant, and yet 17 people die each day while waiting for a transplant. “It changes more than just the life of the recipient,” Miller says. “It changes the family and the community. It’s the largest gift that anyone can make.” Before her transplant, Miller had two grandsons. Now, she has three grandsons and five granddaughters. “I would have never met them,” she says. “I feel blessed every single day.” Shawna Miller, R.N. APRIL IS DONATE LIFE MONTH. Learn more about organ and tissue donation and register as a donor at Jamie Jones, R.N.