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HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital Encourages Organ Donation During National Donate Life Month

HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital will join Donate Life Florida to celebrate National Donate Life Month with a special flag-raising ceremony in honor of the hundreds of thousands of donors and recipients whose lives have been touched by organ donation. This year’s guest speaker is Kim McMahon, of Pensacola, whose 16-year-old son, William, died while waiting for his second liver transplant. McMahon later became a tissue recipient herself – receiving donor bone during a spinal fusion surgery to repair and strengthen her spine. We invite media members to join us in celebration.

WHEN: Monday, April 24, 2023 – 10-10:30 a.m. 

WHERE: HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital’s front courtyard, by the flagpole 
                1000 Mar Walt Dr.
                 Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

*In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the hospital’s third-floor classroom, and the flag-raising portion will be postponed

WHO: Speakers will include Kim McMahon, HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Eric Schuck, and representatives from LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services, Legacy Donor Services Foundation and Lions Eye Institute. Nurses from HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital’s ICU, who play a crucial role in ensuring patient organs remain viable for transplant, will raise the Donate Life flag.

WHY: National Donate Life Month, celebrated throughout the month of April, was declared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and instituted by Donate Life America in 2003 as a time for the nation’s organ and tissue donation and transplantation community to focus its attention on the critical need for life-saving donors. There are more than 5,000 patients currently on waiting lists at transplant centers across Florida. In addition, hundreds of thousands more wait patiently for the gift of tissue donation. Every 10 minutes, another person is added to the transplant waiting list, and every day, approximately 17 people die while waiting for an organ transplant. But one person can save up to eight lives through the donation of life-saving organs – heart, kidney, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine – and help 75 people or more who need corneas to see, skin to heal from burns, and bones and connective tissue for common knee, back and dental surgeries. 

NOTE TO MEDIA: If you’d like to cover this event, please reach out to Nina Harrelson at the contact listed above to RSVP.

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