Tames' Death Puts Spotlight On Life-Saving Gift
Organ Recipients Applaud Family's Decision To Donate Organs
INDIANAPOLIS -- The death of a bicyclist, and the desire of her and her family to be organ donors, has put the issue of organ donation front and center in central Indiana.
Amanda Tames, 20, was hit by a car while riding her bicycle last weekend. She died this week at Methodist Hospital, after her family had arranged for her organs to be donated, 6News' Dan Spehler reported.Jennie Pitman knows the kind of positive affect that decision can have. She received a liver transplant earlier this year.
"You're excited and ecstatic when you get that phone call," Pitman said. "(But) within moments of getting off the phone, I kind of took a step back and said, 'Oh my, somebody passed away today.'" Pitman has recovered nicely since the transplant. She's even able to ice skate again. "It went so well, I can't believe it's been only four and a half months," she said. "I feel amazing." Pitman said she also feels overwhelmingly thankful. While she doesn't know her donors, stories like Tames' make Pitman remember the magnitude of the gift she received.
"Out of their pain, they can help so many people," Pitman said. "I can't thank them enough. They're absolute angels on earth." "Under extraordinarily tragic circumstances, one family can take some of their grief and they can, if you will through kindness and generosity, provide a new hope, a new start for people such as Jennie," said Pitman's doctor, Paul Kwo,
There is always a long list of people who need an organ transplant and a shorter list of available donors.
More than 3.1 million Hoosiers are listed as organ donors, but officials with the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization told 6News' Dan Spehler that the group is always trying to get more people to sign up.
"We ask people to register your decision at the BMV or online or at one of our events," said Kim Charles of IOPO. "Then, talk to your family about that, so they know what your desires are, what your wish is at that time."
Last year, nearly 500 people received organ transplants from a group of about 150 Hoosiers who donated their organs. You can register your decision to be an organ or tissue donor at donatelifeindiana.org.