A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

KODA celebrates record-setting year; 423 organs transplanted to save lives in 2018


Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) had a record-setting year in 2018, saving more lives and giving more individuals the gift of living longer.

The organ procurement organization cared for 134 organ donors resulting in 423 organs transplanted. These were the highest numbers of organ donors and organs transplanted in KODA’s 32-year history.

Also, more than 30,000 lives were enhanced by the generosity of the 367 tissue donors. An additional 1,000 patients have gained the gift of sight through from 824 cornea donors.

“Donors and their families make miracles happen by saying ‘yes’ to helping others. We are honored to facilitate this gift and see the immeasurable impact it makes to patients and their families on the waiting list,” said Julie Bergin, President and CEO of KODA. “I am thankful for the compassion and dedication our staff shows as they honor the gift of donation each and every day. As we look towards 2019, we are committed to saving more lives through our continued growth and development as an organization. KODA’s Board and our devoted team members have much to be proud of today and every day.”

Nationally, the 36,527 organs transplanted set an annual record for the sixth straight year, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Also, there were nearly 6,900 living donor transplants in 2018, the highest total since 2005.

“Our clinical functions are only possible because of the ongoing support throughout KODA’s team,” said Bergin. “Diligent education efforts in the community and hospitals around the state, quality assurance activities, innovative programs, technology support, supply orders, sterilization, administration, recruitment of new staff have worked to make this year our most successful in history.

“This team goes beyond our KODA staff. This mission is not possible without the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks, Kentucky Lions Eye Bank, Transplant Centers, Hospital Partners, Donate Life Ambassador Volunteers, Kentucky Coroners and Medical Examiners. These strong partnerships are the reason for the dramatic increase in donation and transplantation here in Kentucky and across the United States. We will continue to grow our efforts and build upon the successes that have made possible.”

For more information about organ, tissue and cornea donation or to register as a donor, please visit www.kyorgandonor.org.

From Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates


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