John Long knows what it is like to have a bad day.
"If I see someone that is having a bad day," Long said, "I go hug them and say, 'Listen, let me tell you what a bad day is, folks.'"
Long had a massive heart attack seven years ago and doctors told him he had to get a new heart or he wouldn't survive. He was airlifted to St. Louis, hoping doctors there could do more for him while he waited for a heart but, at that point, it wasn't looking good. That's when a miracle happened.
"Somehow between [Springfield] and St. Louis they found a heart and I got it.," Long said.
Long was brought back to life thanks to a donor and his family.
"My son asked me, 'Dad, somebody had to die?' I said, 'Yeah, but they did and now they still live!'"
It is a lot to bear for any donor and his or her family. William Mahoney knows it firsthand.
"For me, it was gut wrenching but I felt good, my wife and I, about the decision at the end," said Mahoney.
Donors big and small help other people live again.
"I invite them to take this opportunity, as painful as it is, and turn it into a blessing," sdaid Skaggs Medical Center chaplain Mary Helen Jeruzal.
"That was a pretty emotional moment for my wife and I, because we never had thought about that, to be quite honest," said Mahoney.
It's something about which transplant awareness groups like Donate Life want people to think. It held a ceremony at Skaggs for families of donors and donor recipients, raising a flag in their honor. Without the donors, people like Long wouldn't have much hope.
"You know what? Life is very good and the only way life is good is if you live it," he said.
The toughest part about the transplant process is finding the right match. Only 1 - 2 percent of donors will actually be a match to someone who needs an organ. However, almost everyone can donate tissue. One person who donates tissue can help up to 50 people. Without tissue, the organ transplant process can't even happen.