Record number of Central and South Texas organ donors saved lives in 2019

Posted at 3:56 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 16:58:23-05

SAN ANTONIO, TX — Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA), the organ procurement organization that provides organ donation and recovery services in Central and South Texas, announced that a record number of organ donors saved lives in 2019.

According to TOSA, 207 individuals saved lives through organ donation.

This is the fourth consecutive year of an increase in donors.

TOSA donors are from 56 county service areas that span from Waco to the Rio Grande Valley.

“This accomplishment is a true team effort. From our communications team who educate the community about donation while registering new donors, to our hospital development staff who ensure our hospitals properly assist us in the procurement process and to our clinical staff who maintain a donor’s organs for recovery helped make this happen,” said TOSA CEO Dr. Joseph Nespral.

“Ultimately though, none of this is possible without the generosity and grace of our registered organ donors and the families who made the decision to save lives.”

San Antonio mom Aisha Williams said making the decision to donate her son's organs meant they could also help a friend through directed donation.

Directed donation is when a donor family requests that an organ be donated to a specific transplant patient on the waiting list.

“It is just incredible and inspiring to me to know that my son’s organs made a difference and an impact in other lives, like Troy’s who we donated to,” Williams said of her son, Hezekiah Williams, who became a donor in January. “When donation was presented to me, I didn’t know a lot about it, but TOSA stayed with me and my family and gave us the knowledge we needed to make the decision. Even today TOSA has been with me through the journey.”

TOSA’s increases are part of a nationwide trend.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the national organization that manages the organ transplant system, nearly 11,900 people became organ donors upon their death, making it a ninth consecutive record-breaking year for deceased donation in the U.S.

Despite the record increases, the waiting list for transplants grows.

Nationwide, 113,800 people are awaiting a life-saving organ transplant, including more than 10,000 Texans.