Every time a patient donates organs or tissue, a new Donate Life flag is flown outside Elkhart General Hospital to raise awareness and serve as a tribute to that person and his or her family.

After all, one organ donor can save eight lives.

And one tissue donor can impact as many as 75 people.

Elkhart General recently raised its Donate Life flag for the first time since becoming part of the nationwide initiative. Memorial Hospital has been raising its flag to recognize these heroic men and women last summer.

After the flag is raised, an organ donor’s family has the opportunity to take pictures with the flag, and then they are given the flag as a keepsake.

“It was very touching for everyone involved,” Deanna Roberts, RN, director of post surgical care services and nursing support services at Elkhart General, said about the family’s reaction to the public display.

In 2017, 10 patients at Elkhart General and Memorial became organ donors and 60 donors donated tissue. The organ donations saved 65 lives and the tissue donations impacted 4,500 people.

Through late April of 2018, nine organ donors at Beacon hospitals have saved 31 lives and 34 tissue donors have impacted 2,550 people.

To learn more about organ, tissue and eye donation, visit IndianaDonorNetwork.org, where you can also register your decision to become a donor.