Organ donor honored at hospital ceremony


Jade Yazzie, second from left, Takota Yazzie and Franky Yazzie hug family members Wednesday after a ceremony honoring organ donor Jasper Yazzie at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington.(Photo: Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
FARMINGTON — The San Juan Regional Medical Center and New Mexico Donor Services joined forces to organize a ceremony today honoring the late Jasper Yazzie, whose organ donations helped save the life of a relative and four other people.

During the ceremony this afternoon, Yazzie’s wife, Tenaj Yazzie, and three daughters, Takota, Jade and Franky Yazzie, tearfully put the finishing touches on a floragraph of Yazzie. A floragraph is a picture made out of organic material such as seeds and coffee grounds. The floragraph will be part of the “Donate Life” float that will be included in the Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 2 in Pasadena, Calif.

Yazzie’s death was the result of a car accident Sept. 10. Because he had checked the organ donor box on his driver’s license, some of his organs and tissues were harvested.

Coincidentally, one of Yazzie’s relatives, 61-year-old Clifford Werito, was on the waiting list for a kidney. Yazzie’s wife, Tenaj, is Werito’s daughter’s maternal cousin.

During the ceremony, Werito described how he became ill and, beginning in 2010, needed to undergo kidney dialysis. Continue reading

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