Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Carole Mikita reporting On the eve of the Memorial Day weekend, a special service took place today for 96 Utahns who donated their bodies to medical science.
In the northwest corner of the Salt Lake Cemetery, 2-thousand cremated remains are interred. The remains of people who wished to help in the educations of University of Utah Medical School students.
Friday, their families gathered to remember their lives.
Hundreds gathered for a memorial service, as much as a year after their loved ones died. Their family members had donated their bodies for research.
Kerry Peterson/ Body Donor Program Director"AND THAT'S REALLY WHY WE'RE HERE TODAY, IS TO HONOR YOU AND THE DONORS ALTRUISTIC GIFT AND TO THANK YOU FOR THE SACRIFICE..."
The donors have helped trained 18-hundred doctors. Because of donor research, there is now less invasive surgery, development of artificial joints, and a better understanding of diseases and how to find cures.
A. Lorris Betz, M.D./U. of U. Medical School dean"THERE ARE MANY LESSONS I LEARNED FROM THE WOMAN WHO DONATED HER BODY SO THAT I MIGHT BECOME A PHYSICIAN... SOME OF THESE LESSONS HAVE HELPED ME BE A BETTER PHYSICIAN... ALL HAVE HELPED ME BE A BETTER HUMAN BEING..."
The medical students also came to honor the donors.
"WE HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO PROVIDE OUR FUTURE PATIENTS... HOW TO CALM THE BODY AND, HOPEFULLY, IN MANY CASES, HOW TO FIX IT..."
Then the families thanked the students for treating the bodies of their loved ones with respect...
"I APPRECIATE EVERYBODY FOR HONORING ANDREW AND ALL THE OTHERS THAT HAVE DONATED..."
"IF HE CAN HELP SOMEONE ELSE... NOT GO THROUGH WHAT HE WENT THROUGH, THEN THIS IS WHAT HE WANTED TO DO AND WE ARE HONORED TO HAVE HIM HERE..."
"HE WANTED TO DONATE HIS BODY AND HOPEFULLY, HOPEFULLY... IT'S GONNA GIVE SOME MORE TIME TO THE NEXT GUY WHO SHOWS UP WITH SOMETHING LIKE THAT..."
"WE ARE LIVING PROOF, THAT LOVE REMAINS..."
Even though the medical school received 96 bodies last year, the dean says the students need more.
For more information on how you can help, call Kerry Peterson at 801-581-6728.