Harrisburg, PA. (WTAJ) – In honor of National Donate Life Month, the Center for Organ Recovery and Education are encouraging people to say yes to organ donation.
According to C.O.R.E, 20 people die every day waiting to receive a transplant, while another 10 are added.
45-year-old Darrell Seymour is one of the thousands in Pennsylvania, on the waiting list.
“I’m in need of a heart transplant,” said Darrell.
Darrell was diagnosed with heart disease 9 years ago, when he was 36.
“When I first went to Pittsburgh they couldn’t even understand how I was still even awake and talking to them. They said there’s no possible way you should be awake and talking to us your heart is that bad,” said Darrell.
According to Darrell doctors told him that his heart was only functioning at 10%.
“It is scary no day is ever promised to you,” he said.
An LVAD is what is currently keeping him alive.
“Basically it’s a pump that they inserted into my heart that is doing the work for my heart. I have to carry around batteries and a controller everywhere I go…back up batteries,” said Darrell.
According to Darrell he does this every day as he remains on standby, waiting for that life-changing call.
“It’s tough because to get organs somebody’s got to be deceased,” said Darrell.
But according to C.O.R.E’s Communications Coordinator Katelynn Metz, there is a silver lining.
“To be able to know they will never be forgotten, somebody will always be grateful every day for every breath they take, every time their heart beats, they will be thinking of your loved one. I mean who doesn’t want to be remembered that way,” asked Metz.
As of April 1, Metz says that close to 7,000 Pennsylvania’s are awaiting a life-saving organ transplant.
“Sadly in Pennsylvania only half of Pennsylvanians have taken that step to register,” said Metz.
To raise awareness for organ donation, C.O.R.E launched a new challenge called ‘Don’t Wait, Save 8.’
“And that just basically references the fact that one organ donor can save 8 lives. So imagine the last thing you do here on Earth is you save 8 lives of 8 other people,” said Metz.
If you’d like to register and potentially save lives like Darrell’s, click here.