By: Richard L. Smith
Carolyn M. Welsh, President and CEO of NJ Sharing Network, announced a milestone achievement in organ transplantation, with a record-breaking 715 organs transplanted in New Jersey in 2023.This figure represents a significant 7% increase from the previous year and marks the fifth consecutive year of record-breaking organ donation numbers in the Garden State.
The success is attributed to the generosity of organ donors and their families in New Jersey.
Welsh emphasized the importance of this collective effort, which has provided more time, memories, and cherished moments for families receiving these lifesaving gifts.
She praised the dedication and compassion of NJ Sharing Network's team members, hospital partners, and the community for reaching new heights in organ and tissue donation and transplantation.
In 2023, the 715 transplanted organs included 374 kidneys, 195 livers, 62 hearts, 60 lungs, 22 pancreata, and two intestines.
Both kidney and liver transplants reached all-time highs for NJ Sharing Network.
Additionally, there was an 11% increase in eye and tissue gifts compared to the previous year, enhancing the quality of life for recipients.
University Hospital in Newark played a pivotal role in this achievement, setting a record in its history with 65 organs recovered for transplant and 25 organ donors.
Other hospitals in NJ Sharing Network's service area, including Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Cooper University Hospital, also set individual records, contributing to the overall success.
A local story highlighting the impact of these efforts is that of Ms. Wendy Carr from Newton. After experiencing heart failure and undergoing a stent procedure, Carr suffered a massive heart attack.
When treatments failed, she was listed for a heart transplant.
On January 18, 2023, Carr received a new heart, leading to a successful recovery and the ability to celebrate her son's wedding in June.
She remains grateful to her donor and their family for the gift of life.
This historic year for NJ Sharing Network underscores the power of community and partnership in saving lives through organ and tissue donation, demonstrating hope and resilience in the face of medical challenges.