Annual flag raising ceremony held at Princeton Community Hospital to honor National Donate Life Month

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – Flags are going up at Princeton Community Hospital in honor of National Donate Life Month.

They were host to their annual flag-raising ceremony for the national month that’s all about raising awareness of organ donation.

Partnering with the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE), the event opened with remarks from guest speakers in the hospital’s boardroom before moving outside to the flagpole for the ceremony.

“One person can save the lives of 8 people through organ donation, and one person can enhance the lives of up to 75 people through tissue donation, “Professional Services Liaison with CORE, Jessica Wheeler. “It’s so important for people to talk to their families about what their wishes are should they ever be in that situation.”

In the U.S, over 41,000 organ transplants were performed last year while over 100,000 people still wait for one.

Tuesday’s ceremony gave honor to those who have donated their organs, tissue, and cornea, along with encouraging future organ donations.

Princeton resident Anita Anderson was going to be the guest speaker at the event but couldn’t make it due to illness. A friend of the family, Lydia Lemaster spoke on her behalf at the event. Anderson’s son, John passed away on October 19, 2020.

After designating himself as an organ donor on his driver’s license, John’s name continues to live on through the number of lives he saves.

“I know that every little bit of news that she hears, it brings her a lot of joy, a lot of closure, it’s very cathartic for her to hear, that you know, her son, who had his own personal issues and struggles sometimes in life, his organs are giving other people a new lease on life,” Lemaster says.

An organ recipient, Wayne Richmond was also there to tell his story. Richmond was diagnosed with NASH or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

After his liver went into cirrhosis, he almost didn’t make it, but with the help of a deceased organ donor, he lives on today.

“I tell my local physician that he’s now treating two people, I have the spirit of someone else that’s inside of me,” says Richmond.

During the first quarter of 2022, Princeton Community Hospital along with their Bluefield Campus potentially enhanced the lived of 225 people, and potentially gave the gift of sight to four people through organ donation.

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