San Diego

Sharp Memorial Hospital Raises Blue and Green ‘Donate Life' Flag

Sharp Memorial Hospital is one of many hospitals across the nation remembering those who have donated their organs and calling attention to the need for more organ donors during month of April

There’s a blue and green flag on display this month outside San Diego’s Sharp Memorial Hospital – a symbol of organ donors and recipients around the world, and the importance of “donating life.”

Saturday marks the beginning of “Donate Life” month, a time to remember organ donors locally and across the world. On Friday, at a 4th annual ceremony, Sharp Memorial Hospital raised a blue and green flag – the colors associated with the special month – meant to serve as a reminder of the importance of organ donation and to call attention to the need for more organ donors.

The blue and green won’t end there. The patient building at Sharp Memorial will be lit up in the colors during the entire month of April, too.

The gesture hits close to one local woman’s heart.

Carol Rice received a heart transplant at Sharp Memorial Hospital, giving her a second chance at life.

“It’s been 15 years, since I received the gift of life from a perfect stranger,” she said at Friday’s ceremony. "My donor's family said 'yes' to donation when their loved one died. I have a resposibility to take care of my heart."

Eleven months after the procedure, Rice met her husband and fell in love.

Currently in San Diego, there are more than 2,000 people on the U.S. organ donor wait list, according to Sharp Memorial Hospital.

Last year, San Diegans who donated their organs saved a total of 363 lives -- the most lives ever saved here in one year – Sharp Memorial said. While many lives in San Diego were saved through organ donation, 71 people still died waiting for organs.

“Donate Life” month pays tribute to those who have died, and encourages more people to become donors. As an organ donor, Sharp Memorial Hospital said one person can save up to eight lives; as a tissue donor, a person can save up to 50 lives.

You can become an organ donor by joining the Donate Life California Registry by checking “yes” at the DMV when applying for a driver’s license or ID card. You can also sign up online at the Donate Life California or Done VIDA California websites, or via the “Health” up on an iPhone.

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