The Town of Essex will unfurl an “organ donation” flag, which will fly just below the U.S. flag on the town flag pole, during the month of April, according to First Selectman Norman Needleman. The “organ donation” flag will be part of a state and national effort to raise public awareness as to the importance of organ and tissue donations.
The new flag will say, “Donate Life,” and, “Donation Saves Lives.” The Town of Essex will be one of 50 Connecticut towns, hospitals and organizations that that will participate in the national “Flags Across America” campaign to encourage organ donations.
“I personally support organ donations, because they help so many people,” said Essex’s Needleman, as he posed with the flag that will go up the Town Hall flag pole in April. “Becoming an organ donor is one of the most generous decisions a person can make to help others,” he said.
“Connecticut residents can register to save lives by an organ donation two ways: when they renew their driver’s license, or by visiting the secure online website, www.DonateLifeNewEngland.org ,” he continued.
Needleman said that he personally is a registered organ donor, a status that is indicated on his driver’s license.
1,200 in Connecticut need organ transplants
Recent estimates are that 110,000 people in America, and 1,200 in Connecticut alone, are waiting for a transplant from an organ donor, and that the need for organ donations has never been greater. By signing on to “Flags Across America” campaign, the Town of Essex has became a partner with Donate Life New England.
Donate Life New England is a joint project of three federally designated organ procurement organizations that serve New England. The three organizations are (1) New England Organ Bank, (2) LifeChoice Donor Services, and (3) the Center for Donation and Transplant and the Connecticut Eye Bank.
The New England Organ Bank is the oldest independent organ procurement organization in the country, and it serves over 160 acute care hospitals for organ and tissue donation and 12 transplant centers.
LifeChoice Donor Services serves 23 acute care hospitals for organ and tissue donations and two organ transplant hospitals, one of which is Hartford Hospital.
The Center for Donation and Transplant coordinates the retrieval of donated organs and tissues for the Connecticut Eye Bank and other health services organizations in New York and Vermont.