Nonprofit partners with airplane charter company to help with organ donation

NEWS OK | Daisy Creager, The Oklahoman

Integris Grove Hospital with a Donate Life flag raised to honor a recent donor. [photo provided]

In the U.S., the waiting list for a lifesaving organ is more than 120,000 people long, with about 22 people dying every day from not receiving an organ they need, according to the American Transplant Foundation.

Jeffrey Orlowski, president and CEO of Lifeshare, the transplant donor services of Oklahoma, said it is numbers like these his organization is fighting against.

Lifeshare has about 115 employees who coordinate the process of assessing an organ, preservation of organs for transport and follow up support for families, Orlowski said.

“We have a pretty complex team of people. It's a very intensive business, because when a heart is recovered for transplant, you only have about six hours that it remains viable to be transplanted,” Orlowski said.

This is where Private Jets Inc. comes in, Orlowski said. The private airplane charter company generally flies clients for leisure transportation and business meetings among other things, but it flies organs into or out of Oklahoma for Lifeshare two to three times a week, Private Jets Owner Eric Wells said. Continue Reading