Wayne County residents being encouraged to become organ donors - KMSP-TV

Wayne County residents being encouraged to become organ donors

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Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano spoke at the kick-off Thursday. (Credit: WJBK) Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano spoke at the kick-off Thursday. (Credit: WJBK)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Thousands of people living in Michigan are waiting for an organ transplant, and there is a critical need for more organ donors. A new commercial and campaign kicked off Thursday to challenge residents of Wayne County to join the state's organ donor registry.

"Try to meet a high reaching goal, that of having 25,000 Wayne County residents join the Michigan Donor Registry from now through the end of 2012," said Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano.

One-third of the Michiganders waiting for an organ transplant live in Wayne County, yet only 25 percent of Wayne County residents are registered organ donors. It's so easy. Just go to www.GiftOfLifeMichigan.org and sign up.

The family of Heather Wendt knows the need all too well. Wednesday night, they gathered outside Henry Ford Hospital where she was about to get a double lung transplant for the second time.

Wendt's body rejected the first transplant, but her family is hoping and praying the second transplant, a near miracle in and of itself, will give her a second chance at life and inspire others to become organ donors.

"There (are) not enough donors. I mean, it's hard to lose a loved one, but when you can see the joy it brings to other families, please, please think about being a donor," said Debbie Wendt, Heather's mother.

Wendt's family told us she is out of surgery, breathing on her own, off the ECMO machine and doing well. The doctor said she's still critical, but everything look good.

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