Sharing the story of life-saving donations: 'I've never had anybody regret donating the organs of their loved ones'

During a Donate Life month celebration, people shared their stories of how organ, eye and tissue donors helped give their loved ones or how their loved ones gave others a second chance at life

Posted: Apr 26, 2019 12:08 AM
Updated: Apr 28, 2019 7:27 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - According to Donate Life America, around 114,000 people are in need of a life-saving organ transplant.

And during a Donate Life month celebration at MercyOne North Iowa Thursday afternoon, some shared their stories on how organ, eye and tissue donors helped change theirs or others' lives.

In the case of Wendy Luft, she shared the story of how her son Logan's desire to become an organ donor give five people a second chance at life.

Just 14 at the time, he decided he wanted to give the gift of life, after taking part in a moped training course.

"As a family, we discussed it and talked about why it was important, and he decided he wanted to be an organ donor. Who thought that a year later he would be an organ donor?"

In July 2017, Logan tragically passed away in an ATV accident. Shortly afterward, five people who needed life-saving transplants received an organ from him. His family has been blessed to meet all of those he has helped.

"If Logan hadn't done what he did, then they wouldn't be here today. And with a short time left for them to be able to live, that saving grace, that life-saving organ, is going to make all the difference in the world."

They have since championed for and advocated for organ donation, as well as for Logan's Law, which was named after Logan, and would allow Iowans to become organ donors through their hunting and fishing licenses. On Tuesday, the Iowa House overwhelmingly passed 98-0, and is now headed to the Senate; if it passes, it will head to Governor Kim Reynolds' desk for approval. Wendy says their work to get the bill one step closer to reality is the capstone to his legacy.

"It's such a huge sense of relief just to have it be done. In the beginning, our main goal was to develop this law, kind of his legacy. My husband says it's a capstone to his legacy."

Taya Amundson with the Iowa Donor Network has visited with families when deciding whether or not they should donate.

"I've never had a negative comment come later. I've never had anybody regret donating the organs of their loved ones and saving people's lives."

She's also seen a sudden uptick in people registering as donors, but is unsure of the cause.

"There's a lot of theories, but nothing is super concrete yet. I think the numbers from 2019 will help us tell why those increases are happening and if it's going to increase, or if it's a fluke."

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