ORGAN DONATION: North Memorial mural honors 160 heroes - KMSP-TV

ORGAN DONATION: North Memorial mural honors 160 heroes

Posted: Updated:
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

18 people die each day waiting for a transplant that never comes. That's why, as part of National Donate Life month, everyone is being asked to consider organ donation.

Yet, those who have donated organs become heroes whose legacy lives on through the lives of others, and that's something North Memorial Hospital is celebrating this week.

The words contained inside a collection of letters from the six people who received organs from her late husband are thankful, and they are something Ruth Laumer will keep close to her heart forever.

"My son put it in a nutshell. He said, 'Where dad is going now to heaven, he won't need them.'" She recalled. "So, it just clicked and we went, 'Yes!'"

Curtis Lovegren died at age 51 from a brain aneurysm, but although he and Ruth had been married for more than 30 years, they had never discussed organ donation. Now that a new spring season full of life is under way, Donate Life America is urging all ages, genders and nationalities to hear their call to save a life and sign up to be a donor.

In Minnesota alone, there are more than 3,100 patients waiting for organ, tissue or eye transplants. This week, North Memorial honored some who have already made difficult bedside decisions to help those patients get what they need.

There is a growing wall of heroes at the hospital, which was started last year. The photographs celebrate more than 160 organ donors, young and old, whose faces line the hallway near the hospital's chapel. This week, dozens were added to the wall -- including Shelia Miller's husband, who died last year.

"He was waiting for a transplant. He knew what it was like to be on the other side of that, and he would have wanted that," she reflected.

Thanks to gifts like that, 5-year-old Brady Carlson was able to come say thank you for the two liver transplants he received before his second birthday.

"He's turned into a normal 5-year-old child that is just like any other child," John Carlson remarked. "At one point, we were told to take him home on hospice. Now, he's your normal, very active, sometimes naughty 5-year-old."

With boys like Brady in mind, Laumer said she hopes other families won't wait to talk about organ donation like hers did.

Anyone can become a donor when renewing a driver's license or by logging on to Donate Life Minnesota at http://www.donatelifemidwest.org/mn/.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Strong storms boom in NW Minnesota, heat simmers Tuesday

    Strong storms boom in NW Minnesota, heat simmers Tuesday

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:31 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:31:03 GMT
    After a sweltering start to the work week, strong storms moved in Monday night but remained primarily northwest of the metro with strong winds and large hail.
    After a sweltering start to the work week, strong storms moved in Monday night but remained primarily northwest of the metro with strong winds and large hail.
  • BEWARE: It's Mayfly season in Minnesota

    BEWARE: It's Mayfly season in Minnesota

    Thursday, June 12 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-06-12 16:34:15 GMT
    The mosquitoes are slowly returning to Minnesota as water temperatures return to warmer levels where their larva can hatch, but the pesky biting bug isn’t the only one coming back. Mayflies have been rumored to be starting to hatch.
    The mosquitoes are slowly returning to Minnesota as water temperatures return to warmer levels where their larva can hatch, but the pesky biting bug isn’t the only one coming back. Mayflies have been rumored to be starting to hatch.
  • Photographer Chronicles Dog's Last Days on Earth

    Photographer Chronicles Dog's Last Days on Earth

    Friday, July 18 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-07-18 21:00:24 GMT
    The story of a dog’s last days has rapidly spread across the internet, touching the hearts of readers all around the world.
    The story of a dog’s last days has rapidly spread across the internet, touching the hearts of readers all around the world.
Widgets Magazine
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices