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Lafayette

Organ Donations Reach New Record in Louisiana

“The number of families that said yes, and they say yes at probably the worse moment of their life,” said LOPA employee Libbie Harrison.

Losing a loved one is not easy, but in that moment, having to think of others is even harder.

The Louisiana Organ procurement Agency, better known as LOPA, aims to recover tissue and organ donations throughout the state.

They say 2019 was a successful year.

“We had 253 organ donors last year and over 400 tissue donors last year,” said LOPA Community Educator Suzanne Morton.

LOPA attributes education to the increase, but also say word of mouth has also been important.

“Family members getting second hand information from their loved one or other family members who may have experience from the past, knowing that this can be something that helps with their process through life after losing a loved one,” said LOPA Organ Recovery Manager Vashaun Rodgers.

Some LOPA staff offer families comfort because they’ve experienced the same thing first hand.

“You’re waiting for your miracle and at some point we knew the miracle was ours, but in a different way,” said Harrison.

Harrison says she began volunteering and eventually working with the organization after loosing her son 22 years ago.

“One of my goals when I started volunteering was thinking I want the number of organ donors to double,” said Harrison.

As the organization continues their donor efforts, they want the community to know that LOPA is a supportive resource to the community.

“Organ tissue donation is hard to talk about , especially with your family a lot of the time because you have to think about loss, there’s grieving obviously involved when someone loses their loved one,” said Morton.

For more information about LOPA visit their website at www.lopa.org.