Updated 10/08/2012 10:10 PM
Organ donation efforts win gold
Just after the governor signs Lauren's Law to encourage organ donations, the Albany based Center for Donation and Transplant wins gold, raising the bar for a state not known for its donation efforts. Our Erin Vannella reports.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- "My kidneys failed in August," said transplant recipient Gina Picarillo. "I went on dialysis for about six weeks. At that point, I had been on the transplant list for about three years."
Picarello was one of 10,000 New Yorker's whose life depended on an organ transplant. A year ago, Saturday she got a new kidney.
"I think of my donor every day and thank the family for being very brave and unselfish to donate their person's organs and I'm just glad I feel as good as I do," said Picarillo.
She's one reason why the federal government awarded the Albany-based Center for Donation and Transplant (CDT) a gold medal for helping reverse a negative state trend and eliminating deaths on the waiting list.
"Right now, we have an average 17 people a day who die because there aren't enough organs available for transplant," said CDT Director of Hospital and Community Services Lauren Quinn. "Of 50 states, New York ranks 48th in the number of residents who are enrolled in their state donor registry."
CDT won by meeting three national standards: An organ donation rate of 75 percent or higher, more than 3.75 organs transplanted per donor, and an at least 10 percent donor recovery rate. The award comes a week after the governor signed Lauren's Law to encourage organ donations. They're two billboards of progress donor recipients like Picarillo say will go a long way to help New Yorkers.
"There's so many pamphlets and advertisements you can put out," said Picarillo. "But I think all the face to face talking to people and letting them know really the facts about it and the more publicity we can do about organ donation will benefit it. I know for me, I wouldn't be sitting here right now if I didn't receive that kidney."