Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital holds celebration to honor organ and tissue donorsMay. 12, 2021, 2:14 PM
by Emily Stembridge
Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital (VWCH) recently recognized the generosity of organ and tissue donors through a limited-attendance flag-raising ceremony.
The ceremony, which took place on Donate Life America’s National Remembrance Day, opened with remarks by Hardie Sorrels, MD, chair of the VWCH Advisory Board. Sorrels highlighted VWCH’s support for tissue donors and their families before sharing a personal connection to the cause.
“Donation is one of the many ways we were able to improve and save lives, even in the midst of a global pandemic,” said Sorrels. “The collaboration of our nurses, physicians and selfless donors truly has made an impact in the lives of these recipients, their families and the families of those that donated.”
Sorrels continued by sharing that his wife had received a life-saving liver transplant nearly two years ago. “Thanks to her transplant, she has been able to attend two of our sons’ medical school graduations, three sons’ weddings and numerous birthdays. Next week, we will be able to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary.”
Sorrels’ remarks were followed by another personal story. Fredia Fisher, RN, mother of paramedic Kyle Fisher, who donated his heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and tissues at VUMC, spoke about her son and the legacy he left behind through his donation.
As a remarkable reminder of Kyle’s impact, Freida brought a guest with her — a 2-and-a-half-year-old boy, named Ryland, who received a portion of Kyle’s liver when he was only four months old.
“My goal was to honor Kyle’s wishes and donate as much as he could possibly donate,” Fisher said. “I knew that there was nothing greater than my baby being able to save the life of someone else’s baby.”
Fisher and her family have developed a close relationship with Ryland and his family, knowing that Kyle lives on through Ryland. They are also comforted by a letter they received from the recipient of Kyle’s lungs, who said, “I can work out, ride a bike and walk thanks to Kyle. I can wash my car by hand, shovel snow and yell at the TV while I’m watching my favorite football team, thanks to Kyle and you.”
The ceremony ended with a moment of silence and a prayer in remembrance of organ and tissue donors, led by Reverend Tamika Robertson, MDiv.
In 2020, 11 individuals made the remarkable gift of tissue donation at VWCH. Each donor enhanced the lives of up to 75 people. Their gifts resulted in restoring sight to the blind, enhancing the lives of burn victims and improving mobility for those suffering from bone and joint injuries.
To register as an organ and tissue donor, visit donatelifetn.org.