The Korte family, left, stand with the recipient of their son and brother’s lungs, Jaken Kasper, who is holding up a picture of Nick Korte with his family, right.
At age 15, Nick Korte came home with his driving learner’s permit, nagging his parents for consent to become an organ donor at the first opportunity.
Five years later, on Nov. 9, 2012, he was brain dead in the hospital with a gunshot wound to his head. His persistence to donate became his legacy.
“We knew that (organ donation) was something that he wanted,” Caitlin Korte said, recounting the day her family decided to donate Nick’s organs. His death would ultimately go on to help 75 other people through organ and tissue donations.
According to Donate Life AZ, which handles the organ donor registry for Arizona, about 54 percent of citizens (2.6 million) in the state are registered organ donors, a rate that nearly doubles the national average. Yet life-saving organ donation is still at a premium in the state and nationwide. There are currently 2,342 candidates on the waiting list for complete-organ transplants in the state, the vast majority (1,957) needing kidneys. The average waiting time is roughly 38 months for a kidney in Arizona. Continue reading
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