By Bud Stephens and Amanda Mitrani
LifeLink Florida, based in Tampa, has presented its prestigious Platinum Achievement Award to Lehigh Regional Medical Center for their outstanding community service and life-saving organ and tissue transplants. Gary Bell, CEO of Lehigh Regional accepted the award on behalf of the hospital and staff but was quick to point out that those who are donors and those whose expertise enables those donations to be successful are the real heros of this program.
Bell states “I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said it didn’t feel good to receive this award, but I’m not the only one responsible for this program. There are many wonderful people who work here to make this happen.”
On hand for the presentation were Dana Grey, mother of Danielle Lee Bogue who died in an auto accident in April of 2007 on Alligator Alley and Hannah Bogue Grey, Danielle’s daughter. Dana shared that Danielle died in the accident but Hannah, who was only 4 months old at the time, survived the accident unharmed, mainly due to being properly secured in an infant car seat.
“Danielle didn’t care how much Hannah cried when she was in the car seat. She knew that it was the safest place in the car for her to be”. Dana went on to say, “It was really hard to lose our daughter, but her father and I knew that Danielle would want to help as many people as she could. That made the decision to allow her organs to be donated much easier.”
Hannah said that she struggled with her mother’s loss even though she was only 4 months old at the time. Dana stated, “Hannah was going through a really difficult time with losing her mother, trying to shape memories from such an early age.” Dana also said that the day came when they had the opportunity to meet the young man who had received Danielle’s heart. “When Hannah was able to hear her mother’s heart beating in that young man’s chest, knowing that it had saved someone else’s life, you could see the struggle just melt away.” Through Danielle and her family’s selfless act, they were able to save the lives of 5 people and help countless others through other types of tissue donation.
Dana ended the conversation by saying, “We had talked about it (organ donation). When I discussed the notion with family, I remember thinking that donation was the right and loving thing to do. Now, since time has passed, we are sure that Danielle would want the people whose lives she touched to live life to its fullest.”
Bell added, “When families have suffered such a tragedy, organ donation is most likely the last thing on their mind. I can’t say enough positive things about the family who is here today. They seized the moment by helping so many people. Hopefully more will follow their example.” Statistics from the Health Resources and Services Administration show that there are almost seven times the number of people awaiting organ donations as there are donors and nationwide over 113,000 people are awaiting organ transplants.
“With more advances in medicine made everyday, these kinds of programs are becoming available to more people but when you look at the statistics you can see that the field of organ donation and organ transplant still have a long way to go”. Bell was referring to the fact that there are about eleven million registered organ donors in Florida. However, this is in a state that has over 21 million residents.
For information on Lifelink and how you can become a registered organ donor, you may contact LifeLink of Florida at (800) 262-5775 or visit their website at www.lifelinkfoundation.org .
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
As the Lehigh Regional Medical Center approaches a new year and a new decade, they are also amongst a new phase in their long history of providing quality care to the people of Southwest Florida by including Behavioral Health Care as another service they provide.
The Lehigh Regional Medical Center welcomes you to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the opening of their new Behavioral Health Center that has been under construction this year. The ceremony will take place on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at the Lehigh Regional Medical Center starting at 4:00 PM.
To RSVP, call Jackie Arsenault at 239-368-4479 or email her at JArsenault@primehealthcare.com.
Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Jacklyn Arsenault, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Lehigh Regional also would like to announce a special upcoming community celebration which will take place for the holidays. On Tuesday, December 10, 2019, Lehigh Regional will host the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on the front lawn of the hospital. The community is invited to enjoy refreshments and entertainment and, of course, Santa arrives on a fire truck at 5:00 PM. The event runs from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM and the staff of Lehigh Regional is expecting a healthy response from the community.
Lehigh Regional Medical Center is located at 1500 Lee Blvd Lehigh Acres, FL 33936. visit them on the web at www.lehighregional.com or like them on Facebook.