Transplant recipients and the families of the donors are gathering to honor those who's untimely deaths gave new life to others. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.
The University of Mississippi Medical Center is adding 53 new photos of organ donors to the center's Wall of Heroes. Moseziner "Moe" Crozier received a heart from 20-year-old Kristopher Haywood in 2015.
"Every person who's received an organ or transplant, on behalf of them, we appreciate you so much for giving of your loved ones. Your loss was great but you made our lives so much better. I do sincerely appreciate you," said Crozier.
There are more than 1,000 Mississippians awaiting organ transplants.The number of donors in the state is slowly climbing, says Kevin Stump with the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency.
"We're getting closer to ninety families being able to donate organs to be transplanted here in the state. We're always working hard to continue to educate the public about donations so they can make an informed decision," said Stump.
Families of the donors were in tears. Grieving and grateful, Nina Griffith hugs Crozier after she speaks. Griffith is the sister of another donor, John Edward Berry, Jr. He died in August and has donated both kidneys and a liver.
"He lives on in someone else. Yea, he's gone. He's in heaven. He's rejoicing. But, then also someone else is rejoicing because they got that life from him," said Griffith.
Two hundred and nineteen organs have been transplanted at UMMC this year.