Fourteen years ago a South Dakota man’s life was saved by a heart transplant performed in Minneapolis. All he knows about the donor who saved his life is that he or she was from Chicago. In the Oct. 17 issue of the Rapid City Journal Tim Bjork tells his story as an illustration of the “complex network that includes donor hospitals, transplant hospitals, medical examiners, grieving families and more,” which makes tens of thousands transplants happen every year.
Bjork now represents other transplant recipients on the Board of Directors for LifeSource, an organ procurement organization that facilitates the donation and transplantation process in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and portions of western Wisconsin.
He calls on others to join him in advocating for “a comprehensive evaluation of our donation and transplantation system that involves all stakeholders and holds every facet of the system to the very highest standards.”
Read Bjork’s full op-ed.
Hear from UNOS’ chief medical officer David Klassen, M.D., on more ways to improve the system for patients.