Change in organ donation policy brings award for Rietz

The News-Gazette | Debra Pressey

URBANA — It was last year when an infant with a traumatic brain injury in Champaign County might have been an organ donor, had the donation not been refused because the infant was also a homicide victim and an investigation was at stake.

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said she had a visit from a representative of Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network, who explained what could have been done to both preserve the integrity of the investigation and still permit a donation to proceed.

That was an eye-opening experience for me," Rietz said.

Rietz got involved with Gift of Hope, and began working to help make those organ donations that had been stalled at the coroner's office happen. For her efforts, Gift of Hope honored her as one of 17 of its Lifesaving Partners.

Rietz was honored for going "above and beyond the call of duty to support organ donation in Champaign County," Gift of Hope said. Continue reading