Flags like this one (pictured above) fly at at hospitals like Lee Memorial in Fort Myers.
It is an Organ Donor flag – a way to honor those who give life even after they have died.
“The donate life flag raising program is an opportunity for us to work hand in hand with our donor families and have a chance to honor and recognize our heroic individuals who are saving lives through organ and tissue donations,” said Betsy Edwards of Life Link.
Lee Memorial Hospital has been partnering with the Life Link Foundation since 2015 for these ceremonies.
The flag is not just an honor for those those who have given beyond their lives. It is also a visual way to help create more awareness about the need for organ donors.
“It’s also a way to call attention to the fact that there’s still a great need,” said Edwards, “We’ve got more than 115,000 patients on the national transplant waiting list. Of those, 5,300 patients are listed at Florida transplant centers alone.”
Through this partnership, Life Link has been able to publicly recognize and honor a lot of people in our community who have saved lives through being a donor.
“Since the program was put in place at Lee Memorial hospital there has been more than 50 donate life flag raisings that have been done in honor of and in paying respect to our organ and tissue donors and their families,” she said.
Edwards said just one person donating can go a long way. And Deputy Gentry has helped save many lives.
“Through the gifts of one organ donor, more than eight lives can be saved. Because the need is so great unfortunately, 18 lives are lost each day across the country because organs aren’t available in time.”