Erlanger And Tennessee Donor Services To Host Donor Remembrance Ceremony

  • Thursday, April 4, 2024

Erlanger and Tennessee Donor Services (TDS) will host a Donor Remembrance Ceremony in recognition of Donate Life Month on Friday, at 10 a.m. in the Erlanger Medical Mall Probasco Auditorium. 

Transplant recipients and families of organ donors from the region will join Erlanger and TDS officials and associates to honor and recognize those who gave the ultimate gift of life through organ donation.

Johanna Carden and Larry Fowler, both TDOT employees, will be sharing their transplant story. After learning that her friend and co-worker was in kidney failure, Ms. Carden didn’t think twice before calling the Erlanger Kidney Transplant Center to see if she could begin testing to determine if she was a match. With complete certainty that Ms. Carden was meant to be Mr. Fowler’s donor, the friends confidently completed the match process and successfully accomplished transplantation. After losing her own father to kidney failure, Ms. Carden is so thankful she was able to give Mr. Fowler life.

Marcheta Darnell will be telling the story of her son’s selfless act of organ donation. Sam Darnell was 22 years old when he became a donor hero after a tragic car accident in January of this year. As a registered organ donor, he gave the gift of life. He had just graduated from college and had signed a lease for his first apartment. He loved trains and dreamed of one day moving to Chicago to work for the Chicago Transit Authority. After the organ procurement surgery, a nurse told Ms. Darnell that the doctor said Mr. Darnella had a “beautiful heart.” Ms. Darnell says the doctor had no idea how true that statement was in more ways than one.

Currently, Erlanger ranks in the top 10% among all donor hospitals in the U.S. More than 100,000 people in the United States are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, and another person is added to that list every nine minutes. Sadly, 17 people die each day waiting for a transplant.

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