CHLA FLIES THE "DONATE LIFE" FLAG TO HONOR AN ORGAN DONATION BY A PATIENT'S FAMILY AND TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT ORGAN DONATION
For the vast majority of the more than 94,000 children we treat here annually, we are able to save their young lives. But in some cases each year, the best that modern medicine and we can offer is still not enough to preserve the child's life.
In these instances, we provide our families with the opportunity to donate their child's tissues and organs to save the lives of other children.
When a family makes the difficult decision to donate the organs of their deceased child, we commemorate the life of the child and the life-saving generosity of the family by proudly flying the "Donate Life" flag in front of the hospital for one week following the donation. The flag is presented at the end of the week to the family to honor their child's life, as well as the lives of those who were saved through their generous gift. The "Donate Life" flag programs, sponsored by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), has been adopted by hospitals throughout the nation to increase awareness of the need for organ donation and to recognize those families who have made this difficult decision and live-saving gesture.
Cynthia Herrington, MD, Ryan Winston Family Chair in Transplant Cardiology, the Heart Institute, is credited with bringing the program to CHLA after seeing its success at Michigan Children's hospital. "I knew this was a program that Children Hospital Los Angeles would embrace," she says. "It's a very outward, public and respectful way of honoring a family in their darkest hour."