In Texas there are over 9,000 people waiting for an organ transplant, and over 98,000 nationally.
All people of all ages should consider themselves potential organ and tissue donors. There are few absolute exclusions and no strict upper or lower age limits. Potential donors will be evaluated for suitability when the occasion arises.
Both newborns and senior citizens have been organ donors. The condition of your organs is more important than age. In addition, people on the waiting list might need to be transplanted with an organ that is less than ideal if there is no other suitable organ available in time to save their lives. Doctors will examine your organs and determine whether they are suitable for donation if the situation arises. If you are under 18, you will need the permission of a parent or guardian to donate.
Most religions support organ and tissue donation as a charitable act of love and giving
The organs of the body that can be transplanted are kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the intestines. Kidney/pancreas transplants, heart/lung transplants, and other combined organ transplants also are performed. Organs cannot be stored and must be used within hours of removing them from the donor's body. Most donated organs are from people who have died, but a living individual can donate a kidney, or part of the liver.
Corneas, the middle ear, skin, heart valves, bone, veins, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments can be stored in tissue banks and used to restore sight, cover burns, repair hearts, replace veins, and mend damaged connective tissue and cartilage in recipients.
In Houston, contact LifeGift Organ Donation Center for more information.