Baptist Honors National Donate Life Month

Baptist Heart Institute’s heart transplant program recently hosted events to celebrate National Donate Life Month. During a ceremony at the Garrett Auditorium on Wednesday, April 10, three heart transplant survivors and an organ donor shared their experiences. On Friday, April 12, Baptist team members and other guests gathered at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis to observe the raising of the Donate Life flag and the placement of 579 pinwheels to represent transplants performed at Baptist Heart Institute.

“At the ceremony, we shared stories of hope, honored the selflessness of donors and reaffirmed the importance of organ donation for saving lives,” said Renee Hatcher, administrative director of transplant services. “At the flag raising, team members and transplant patients gathered to honor the lives saved through organ donation and transplantation here at Baptist Memphis. It’s an honor and privilege to be part of this incredible team.”

Baptist heart transplant recipients who spoke at the ceremony on April 10 include John Daniel, who received a transplant in 2015; Liam Haggarty, who received a transplant in 2021; and Glen Frazier, who received a transplant in 2022.

Baptist team member Marie Mitchell, a kidney donor who is also a parent and grandparent of organ donors, spoke about her experiences. Dr. Brian Allen Bruckner, surgical director of thoracic transplant and mechanical circulatory support, also spoke at the ceremony.

The University of Memphis’ mascot Pouncer, Baptist Health Sciences University’s mascot Hartley and Mid-South Therapy Dogs were on-site to offer comfort and support.

During the flag raising event on April 12, Dr. William Mullinax, system medical director of palliative medicine for Baptist Medical Group, spoke and led the group in prayer. Liam raised the Donate Life flag.

Team members and other guests placed 579 pinwheels in front of the hospital to represent the 93 lung transplants and 486 heart transplants performed at Baptist Memphis. Each pinwheel has eight blades, symbolizing how one donor can save up to eight lives.