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Shelley Osterloh reporting Utah is receiving national recognition for its success in life-saving organ donations.
A national study identifies the University Hospital, as being one of the top in the nation for donations among those patients who qualify to be donors.
Todd Venz was just 26 years old when he received fatal brain injury in a car accident. His mother, Marian Neeley, says the caring staff of the University Hospital gave the family all the information necessary to help them make a decision about organ donation.
Marian Neeley, Mother of Organ Donor: "They were all very very supportive and nice, I couldn't say enough about University Hospital and intermountain donors; they've been great, just great."
In a study for the Association of Organ Procurement, the University Hospital ranked seventh best in the nation for consent. Of those who qualify to be donors, more than 90% agree to become donors.
The hospital has focused on educating its staff about donation and transplantation.
Kim Phillips R.N./University Hospital Transplant Programs: "When an employee starts at the university, they receive detailed instruction on what donation is, what are the options available to people."
Utahns are a very giving community. A recent study showed that 97% of those polled support organ donation; and Utah has the most successful on-line registry in the country. "
Alex McDonald, Intermountain Donor Services: " Seventy to 74% of the ages between 16 and 75 are signed up on the Utah donor registry, saying they want to be donors, which is huge. The next closest state is Illinois with about 60%."
Marian Neeley says donating her son's organs comforted her through her grief and loss.
Neeley: "As soon as we made that decision, I felt a peace come over me. He can still live through all these people."
Todd's organ donation saved the lives of more than a dozen people and helped as many as 50 more people with bone and tissue.
Utah's other trauma hospital, LDS, ranked 23 on the list of most successful donor consent hospitals.