Work and tragedies bind Medtronic workers in Memphis to organ donors

Brad Vest/The Commercial Appeal June 3, 2016; A ceremonial ribbon is cut opening the new donor garden at the Medtronic distribution facility. "The area here is a donor garden reminding our employees of what this is all about," Victor Roacha, not pictured, said. A small amount of Medtronic's business is shipping donor tissue and organs to recipients. The sculpture is of a tree and water, both symbols of life.

People who donate their organs and tissue to help the living when they die allow workers at a Medtronic Spine distribution facility in Memphis to ship out tissue made from bone to support more than 25,000 surgeries a year.

The work can be even more personal when a colleague or a loved one dies tragically, becoming a donor not only to be honored, but to be remembered.

That was the case for Michael Higginbotham, a 33-year-old Medtronic employee who died in a November 2014 traffic crash on Walnut Grove at Interstate 240.

Another worker, Shirley Holiday, made the decision to remove her 22-year-old son, Eugene Cox III, from life support and donate his organs. Her son was shot in the head in May 2012, a crime that remains unsolved, Holiday said.

Focusing on serving patients is a standard practice in the medical device and health care industries. Focusing on the organ and tissue donors who make it possible to serve patients goes a step further.

Medtronic's SpinalGraft Technologies Group days ago dedicated a donor garden where symbols including a tree, water and circles represent life and honor both the donors they know and don't know. Continue reading
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