Good Shepherd unveils Wall of Heroes - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Good Shepherd unveils Wall of Heroes

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

Released by the Good Shepherd Medical Center:

LONGVIEW, TX - Good Shepherd Medical Center and Southwest Transplant Alliance will unveil a Wall of Heroes intended to honor Good Shepherd patients who saved lives through organ donation. The dedication of the wall will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, August 25 at 2:00 p.m. in the main lobby of Good Shepherd Medical Center.

About a dozen local families will take part in the dedication of the Good Shepherd Medical Center Wall of Heroes. Their loved ones' photos will be displayed and their names will be called, in order to honor and remember those who gave the gift of life.

Background:  Hospitals across the country are working to implement Walls of Heroes since the first wall was erected in El Paso in late 2008. A simple gesture of thanks from a grieving mother to the hospital staff that helped her daughter through the final days of her life inspired this national trend that comes to Longview today.

The token that Ofelia Dominguez presented to the hospital -- a framed photo of her 22-year-old daughter -- inspired, comforted and guided dozens of other families as they waded through their own personal tragedies. Soon, there was a second photo on the wall beside Andrea Dominguez. Then there was a third. Each of these patients' relatives decided to donate their organs after their deaths.

Southwest Transplant Alliance worked with the hospital to formalize the wall and for a full year following the wall's dedication, every family in that hospital in a position to donate a loved one's organs did just that. The photos on the wall both comforted families in crisis, and also helped them choose organ donation for their loved ones, increasing donation and increasing the number of organs available for transplant. Good Shepherd Medical Center and Southwest Transplant Alliance intend for the photos of local organ donors on the wall unveiled today to do the same for families here.

More than 100,000 people in the United States and more than 10,000 people in Texas await life-saving organ transplants. While more than 30,000 people do receive the transplants they need each year, an average of 18 people die each day before the organs they need become available. One donor can impact up to 50 lives with donation of heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, intestine, corneas, skin, bone, ligaments and tendons.

Southwest Transplant Alliance and Good Shepherd Medical Center also hope the wall and its dedication will inspire Longview residents to register as organ donors. Texans can officially register their decision to donate online at www.donatelifetexas.org or when renewing a driver's license at a local DPS office.

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