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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Organ donations help families heal

The Des Moines Register | Paige Godden
Jared VanderLinden holds a photo of his father, John VanderLinden during an event kicking-off national organ donation month on April 1. The event was held at Mercy Hospital in downtown Des Moines.(Photo: MICHAEL ROLANDS/RECORD-HERALD)

Without three liver transplants Brandon Boyd of Indianola wouldn’t have seen his 5-year-old son start kindergarten last fall.

He wouldn’t have seen his daughter get her driver’s license last year.

It’s the little things, he said, he appreciates more than most.

“There are so many things you don’t think about you take for granted,” Boyd said at the flag raising to kick-off national organ donation month at Mercy Hospital in downtown Des Moines April 1.

According to the Iowa Donor Network, 58 organ donors saved 214 lives in 2015. Thousands more were healed by 890 tissue donations in Iowa.

While it’s easy to see how organ donation is beneficial to the recipients, an Indianola family talked about the difficult decision to donate a loved one’s organs.

Mallory Wells said her father, John VanderLinden, was a popular mechanic in Indianola.

Wells said he could fix anything, but he didn’t think much of it. Rather, he considered himself a farm boy with a tool box. Continue reading

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