To mark National Donate Life Month in April, Ascension Seton and the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance are ceremoniously hoisting “Donate Life” flags in front of four hospitals: Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin, Ascension Seton Medical Center Williamson in Round Rock, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas and University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin.
The flags already are fluttering above entrances to the first three hospitals after ceremonies held in recent days. UMC Brackenridge will hold its ceremony Friday, April 15 – and the public is invited to attend.
At Ascension Seton Austin, Carolyn Reid and Toni Jones, the mother and sister of Darrell Jones, an organ donor who died in a Central Texas traffic accident in January 2013, and the Rev. Joseph C. Parker, senior pastor of David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Austin who received Darrell’s heart, spoke at the flag-raising event. Jones was a science teacher and coach and the father of two grown children.
To date, 394 successful heart transplants have been performed at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin, the only hospital in Central Texas where heart transplants occur. So far in 2016, five transplants have occurred at the hospital.
Parker is transplant recipient No. 341.
UMC Brackenridge is Seton’s top hospital in organ donations made by families and loved ones. In 2015, 20 donors provided 72 organs that were transplanted into other patients, saving them and allowing them to return to normal lives.
The April 15 flag raising at UMC Brackenridge will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. by the flag poles on the north side of the hospital, along 15th Street. A reception will follow in the second floor lobby.
Speakers will include Pam Porter, who donated her son’s organs after his unexpected passing, helping five other people; Sherman Lemuel Bradshaw, recipient of a donated heart; Dr. Carlos Brown, director of trauma services; Debra Hernandez, vice president, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at the hospital; and Patrick J. Giordano, chief executive officer of the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance.