James D. Eason Transplant Institute at Methodist University Hospital Celebrates National Donate Life Month

Posted on: May 10, 2019

Physicians, along with medical and non-medical staff at the James D. Eason Transplant Institute at Methodist University Hospital held a flag raising ceremony to celebrate National Donate Life Month.

Across the country, more than 114,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ.  Locally at Methodist University Hospital, there are over 900 people waiting for that life-changing call telling them an organ has been found.

“I can’t emphasize enough the importance of being an organ donor,” said James Eason, MD, program director for the James D. Eason Transplant Institute at Methodist University Hospital, and professor and division chief for the transplant division at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. “We could save so many more lives if more people would make the choice to be an organ donor.”

The transplant team has performed over 3,000 transplant surgeries since the Transplant Institute opened its doors 13 years ago. It has continued to set record number of transplant surgeries performed each year for the past five years.

One of those operations was In May 2008 to give Jim Giusti a liver he desperately needed.

“Organ donation is a great gift,” said Giusti. “It has given me time to spend with my wife and my children. I am especially thankful for the donor who saved my life.”

Terri Freeman’s first experience with organ donation was in 1995 when her father passed away. The family made a number of donations from their father. Later, she received a letter telling her that her father donated the gift of sight.

In 2018, Freeman made the decision to donate a kidney to her husband whose kidneys were failing. When she learned she was a perfect match, she jokingly said, “I am going to give you a kidney and you’ll never say no to me again.”

Freeman is very thankful for the James D. Eason Transplant Institute at Methodist University Hospital, and for all the work they do. She says, “We have two kidneys, but we only need one. There is no better gift you can give.”

The James D. Transplant Institute at Methodist University Hospital is nationally recognized for its success with kidney, liver, kidney-pancreas, and pancreas transplants.

Partnering with the University of Tennessee, the James D. Eason Transplant Institute at Methodist University Hospital focuses on research breakthroughs, excellence in surgical techniques and meticulous post-operative care to improve the quality of life and the life expectancy for its organ transplant patients.

To learn more, visit www.methodisthealth.org/transplant.