LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky Organ Affiliates (KODA) is reporting that the organization had a being a record-breaking year in 2019 for saving lives around Kentucky.
KODA, the organ procurement organization for most of Kentucky, Southern Indiana and Huntington, WV, was able to support the decisions for donation and transplantation of 137 organ donors resulting in 416 organs being transplanted. This was the highest number of organ donors ever for KODA.
Additionally, there were a record-breaking 523 tissue donors who generously healed thousands of lives with their gifts in 2019, representing a 42 percent increase over the previous year. KODA’s partner Kentucky Lions Eye Bank also reports 734 cornea donors gave the gift of sight in 2019 resulting in 1,142 corneal transplants.
“Looking back over the past 12 months, we have achieved ambitious goals including rapid growth in employment to support more families than ever before and saving more lives through organ and tissue transplantation,” said Julie Bergin, KODA’s President and CEO. “I am proud to work with such a committed and caring group of people who work tirelessly to honor the gift of donation.”
Among its 137 donors, KODA staff facilitated 35 Donation after Cardiac Death Donors(DCD), nearly double from 2018. In most cases, an organ donor has died from brain death. However, in some cases, the gift of life is possible for a limited time after cardiac death has being pronounced.
Nationally in 2019, 11,870 people gave the lifesaving gift of organ donation upon their death resulting in nearly 40,000 total transplants. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), this made 2019 the 7th straight year of increase in the number of transplants performed.
More from WHAS11: