Flag raising honors 35 Erlanger organ donors in 2014

Mother of donor, kidney transplant recipient and Erlanger CEO to speak at recognition event

On Wednesday, April 1, officials with Erlanger will raise a “Donate Life” flag in the hospital courtyard to recognize and honor 35 Erlanger patients who gave the ultimate gift of life as organ donors in 2014. Thanks to the organ donations of these 35 individuals, 123 lives were saved last year.

At 11 a.m., Erlanger will join thousands of hospitals and organizations across the nation by flying the flag in recognition of Donor Awareness Month, and in honor of the uncountable lives touched by organ, eye and tissue donation. Representatives from the Erlanger Health System, Tennessee Donor Services, Donate Life, Erlanger’s transplant program and other medical professionals will join Paula Palmer, a kidney transplant recipient, and Paula Boring, mother of an organ donor.

Paula Boring is an active supporter of Donate Life Tennessee since her son, Kainen, passed away and became an organ donor at Erlanger on September 16, 2011. Kainen was 17 years old and a football player for Bledsoe County High School when he died. Paula will share his story and encourage others to pass on the gift of life through donation.

Paula Palmer received her kidney transplant on May 17, 2012 at Erlanger’s Kidney Transplant Center. At the age of 50, Paula was told she had inherited polycystic kidney disease and was placed on the kidney transplant list. Since her transplant, Paula has a new appreciation for life and a desire to let people know about the importance of organ donation.

Currently, Erlanger Health System is the second leading donor hospital system in Tennessee. More than 120,000 people in the United States are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and more than 2,700 of those live in Tennessee. Every day 18 people die waiting for a transplant, and every 10 minutes a new name will be added.