Summer means family, vacations and happiness, trips to the beach, relaxing and watermelon. For local mother Mattie Pritchett it means more precious time with her daughter Hollie.
Ask anyone waiting for a life-saving transplant what they wish for most. Most would answer the same way: more time. Mattie Pritchett, a Thomasville, NC, resident, had her wish come true when a kidney transplant saved her life. Mattie lost her mother to a genetic kidney disease when she was only 11 years old. When her own daughter was only seven, Mattie received a life-saving kidney transplant needed as a result of the same disease that took her mother’s life.
Knowing what it was like to lose her mother so young, Mattie fights everyday to be there for her daughter. Mattie says, “My biggest accomplishment, post kidney transplant, has been just being here, being able to continue to be my daughter’s mother. A teen-aged girl needs her mother, and probably no one knows that more than I do.”
Mattie serves as one of Carolina Donor Services’, the region’s organ procurement organization, many dedicated volunteers who works hard to educate the public about the critical need for organ and tissue donors. When asked about her volunteer work with Carolina Donor Services, Mattie says, “I want to encourage people to become organ donors, so that people waiting for an organ transplant can be blessed in the same way I have been. I can think of no greater way to make a difference in the world than by allowing a part of you to live on through someone else when your time here is complete.”
There is an overwhelming need for donors:
Nationally, more than 118,000 men, women and children currently await lifesaving organ transplants. Nearly 3,500 of those individuals live right here in North Carolina.
More than 80% of those awaiting an organ transplant are waiting for a kidney.
On average, 142 people are added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list each day – one every ten minutes.
Sadly, an average of 18 people die each day while waiting, simply because the organ they needed did not become available in time.
If you are not already registered, you can join today by signing up at your local DMV office or online at DonateLifeNC.org. This online registry allows you to create or update your donor record at any time. Joining the North Carolina registry means that, once you turn 18, you have made a legally binding decision to become a donor at the time of your death. Just like your will, it is a decision that cannot be overturned by others. Whether you’ve been registered for years or are just signing up now, please make sure your loved ones know about your decision to save lives through organ and tissue donation.