Cornea transplant recipient shares story at ceremony
Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) launched Donate Life Month with its annual flag-raising ceremony. In collaboration with OneLegacy, the organ and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area, the hospital replaced the Donate Life flag that hangs in front of the hospital’s main entrance with a new one. The flag honors donors who have saved lives via organ and tissue donation and underscores the hospital’s commitment to promoting organ donation. Last year, donors from Antelope Valley Hospital improved the lives of 4,000 organ and tissue recipients.
Antelope Valley Hospital Chief Executive Officer Ed Mirzabegian said the hospital was proud to participate in National Donate Life Month and hopes the flag serves as a reminder to local residents of the importance of organ donation and encouraged them to join the California Donor Registry.
“Antelope Valley Hospital has long been a leader in organ donation,” Mirzabegian said. “Our team sees firsthand the lives saved by the selfless willingness of others to give life. It is a privilege to lead our team and encourage our community to donate life.”
One Legacy CEO Tom Mone commended Antelope Valley Hospital for its longstanding support of organ and tissue donation. “Antelope Valley Hospital was one of our first partners and has created a model program,” he said.
Jessica Horton, an AVH respiratory therapist, shared her story of having two cornea transplants during the flag-raising ceremony. The second transplant occurred just three months ago. Horton was born with glaucoma, which would have robbed her of her sight without the transplants.
In December, AVH received OneLegacy’s Health and Human Services Platinum Recognition Award for raising awareness about organ donation. The hospital has been consistently recognized as the top-performing medical center in all of OneLegacy’s service area, which spans seven Southern California counties and 240 hospitals.
Nearly 114,000 Americans are waiting to receive lifesaving hearts, livers, lungs, kidneys and other organs. A single organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and improve the lives of as many as 75 more by donating their corneas and tissue.
National Donate Life Month recognizes the generosity of those who have saved and enhanced lives by becoming donors, while also highlighting the critical need for more people to sign up to be donors. To become a donor, people may register at the local DMV or online at donatelifecalifornia.org.
From left to right, OneLegacy CEO Tom Mone, Antelope Valley Hospital CEO Ed Mirzabegian and Jessica Horton, AVH respiratory therapist and cornea transplant recipient, prepare to hoist the Donate Life flag up the pole at the hospital’s main entrance.
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