PATERSON, NJ [JANUARY 16, 2013] – The St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center Critical Care Team accepted the Circle of Life Award from the NJ Sharing Network for recognition of steadfast commitment to saving and enhancing lives through the miracle of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.
"It was a great honor to be presented with the NJ Sharing Network Circle of Life Award for the partnership we have with NJ Sharing Network in our efforts to save lives and give hope," said Dr. Mourad Ismail who accepted the award on behalf of Dr. Alan Sori and the Critical Care Team at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center. "The Sharing Network works closely with physicians at St. Joseph's to ensure the highest of care, respect and diligence occurs in dealing with potential organ donors. They provide purpose for what can be a very grievous time for all involved." Dr. Mourad Ismail is featured holding the award in the photo to the left with Daniel Sarnowski and Pamela Sniffen, Hospital Services Manager with the NJ Sharing Network.
The NJ Sharing Network, is a non-profit organization responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue for nearly 5,000 New Jersey residents awaiting life-saving transplants. During its 25th anniversary year the NJ Sharing Network is presenting awards to hospitals that show dedication to assisting with recovery of organs and tissue after a patient has passed away. Tissue recovered from one patient, such as skin, bone, heart valves and corneas, can enhance the lives of up to 50 patients.
There to share his story about the impact of organ donation at St. Joseph's was Daniel Sarnowski, partner of Betsy Niles, resident of Montclair, who passed away in March 2011. "It was the darkest day of my life when I lost my beloved Betsy," said Sarnowski, as he placed a photo of her by his side to tell her story.
Niles was involved in a motor-vehicle accident when she was hit at the Upper Montclair Train Station in a low-impact collision, which proved fatally damaging to Niles' brain. While the accident shortened Niles' life, Sarnowski was determined to become involved in the cause for organ donation in her absence. Sarnowski now volunteers with the NJ Sharing Network to speak about the family's decision to donate Niles' organs to improve the lives of others.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 1 organ donor alone can save up to 8 lives. Currently in the United States an estimated 116,732 people are waiting for an organ transplant.
"This is probably the most satisfying charity work I have ever done," said Sarnowski. "This is an organization where I can see a direct benefit." This award in particular resonates strongly with Sarnowski as no more than 18 months earlier he accompanied Niles to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center for treatment following her accident. Sarnowski passed out personalized thank you cards to St. Joseph's Healthcare System employees and graciously thanked the group of assembled physicians and medical staff for their support to organ donation initiatives and recognized them for their involvement in Niles' case.
"Having hospital partners like St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center that continuously demonstrate their commitment to fulfill an organ donor's final wishes gives more hope to the thousands of New Jersey patients who are on the transplant waiting list," said Joseph Roth president and chief executive officer of NJ Sharing Network. "It is an honor to have such dedicated partners and we present our Circle of Life Award to these institutions as an expression of thanks for all they have done to support organ donation and transplantation."
NJ Sharing Network continues to advocate on behalf of individuals in need of life-saving and life-enhancing transplants and is a source of comfort for family members who make the courageous decision to donate a loved one's organs and tissue.
"It is a wonderful thing, and it is very much something that a donor family member appreciates afterwards," concluded Sarnowski to a room full of applause.
About NJ Sharing Network
NJ Sharing Network is a non-profit, federally designated organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for New Jersey residents in need of life-saving transplants. NJ Sharing Network, celebrating 25 years of saving lives through organ and tissue donation in 2012, partners with Donate Life America, a not-for-profit national alliance that drives communities to increase their numbers of registered donors. To learn more about organ and tissue donation contact NJ Sharing Network at 1-800-742-7365 or visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org to register as an organ and tissue donor.