(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Community Hospital took part in a statewide ceremony Monday to recognize and promote organ donation. The hospital was one of 80 organizations that simultaneously hosted a Donate Life flag-raising service. Donate Life Wisconsin created the Pause to Give Life event in 2018 as a statewide observance to mark the start of National Donate Life Month.
BDCH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Smith says the Donate Life Flag is a symbol for organ donation representing unity, remembrance and hope. He says the flag itself was first introduced in 2006 and over the past 12 years over 50,000 Donate Life Flags have flown across America.
The flag was raised at exactly 10:08am which signifies that one donor can save eight lives. A moment of silence then followed for one minute and 14 seconds to recognize the more than 114,000 patients waiting for a life-saving transplant. Nearly 2,000 of those patients live in Wisconsin.
Dawn Lyons-Wood, who lost her daughter in a snowmobile accident in 2015, shared a few words about what organ donation means to her. She says raising the flag represents the gifts donors have giving to organ, tissue and cornea recipients and provides a healing from pain.
Lyons-Wood says her daughter saved six lives, gave sight to two others and improved the lives of over 60 others in 22 states. A quilt will be on display in the main lobby of the Beaver Dam hospital throughout the month to remember past donors. Smith says each square was made by the donor’s family.