Together we inspire our communities, offer hope, and change lives through the gift of donation. We Are Sharing Hope SC (SHSC) is the organ and tissue donation program for the state of South Carolina (except for Aiken and Edgefield counties).
As the federally-designated organ procurement organization (OPO) for the state, SHSC is responsible for facilitating the gift of organ and tissue donation for transplantation and research. Invested in the community we serve, the staff at We Are Sharing Hope SC are passionate stewards of the gift of life, honoring all heroes and their families who say “yes.”
"I had an infection Oct. 2019. My doctor prescribed Z-Pack & because I was in pharmacy, I knew of the side effects. One day in the shower, the floor became covered in blood…I yelled for my husband, ‘Keith, hurry!' and we rushed to Roper’s ER since they cared for me during my 2013 cancer battle. Upon arrival, I found out I was going through hepatorenal failure.
My labs showed elevated enzymes, indicating organ failure. I met with the GI & MUSC transplant team, including Dr. Kotch. My tests showed proper kidney function but unfortunately, issues with my liver…my cancer caused cirrhosis of the liver but wasn't alcohol-related. The tissue was breaking down & my liver wasn’t filtering. It was then that I started the process of getting on the organ transplant waiting list.
Gallbladder issues, fluid retention & abdominal pain had me in & out of the hospital. After a 2nd attempt to receive this gift, I was added to the waiting list March 2020. I received 5 calls and told to stay by the phone, just in case a liver became available. I even went to the OR and scrubbed down one time, but that it turned out this was not the liver meant for me.
The 6th time was a charm (that’s how the saying goes, right?) but my nerves immediately kicked in. In this moment, I knew my donor’s family was saying goodbye to their loved one. It was my hope they would be at peace with the selfless gift they were giving me.
I woke up in the ICU on Nov. 11th. In 3 weeks, I went home and was happy but didn’t know how my body would heal and worried about rejection. My appetite was gone and I had no energy to walk. I looked in the mirror and saw a skeleton, eyes and jaws sunken in.
I was admitted to the hospital but was told everything was normal. Advocating for myself, I requested more tests be ordered. My doctors told me the stent inserted after my transplant migrated to my pancreas, piercing it and backing up enzymes.
Thankfully, my medical team corrected it. I saw other transplant patients progressing faster than me at the clinic, realizing in that moment, everyone’s transplant journey is different.
To my donor hero, you’ve made such a difference in my life. I’m taking care of myself and my liver, the greatest gift someone could ever give, the gift of life. I’m grateful, thankful and can’t express the gratitude I have." - Ik, Liver Recipient
To make a difference in your community, you have to be a part of your community! 💙💚 This past weekend, SHSC spent time in Andrews, SC at the St. Andrews A.M.E. Church Community Health Fair, educating people on organ, eye and tissue donation.
Being a vendor at this health fair gave us a chance to dispel many misconceptions some attendees previously held before they were enlightened about the true impact donation has on the people of South Carolina. We had the opportunity to meet and connect with MUMUSC Healthurse, Blair, whose father was a donor hero and was able to give the gift of sight to two people.
This , putting a spotlight on one of SHSC's newest volunteers, Jeanne. 💙💚 One day in early August, Jeanne walked into our office out of pure curiosity. She also volunteers at Roper St. Francis Healthcare/Bon Secours St. Francis Health System and had admired the look of the new space in passing.
Jeanne knew she wanted to get involved and volunteer with us after finding out that part of our mission is to spread awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation, allowing the people of South Carolina to see the impact of saying "YES." Jeanne worked as a nurse for many years and says she even helped with the first kidney transplant at MUSC Health in 1968!
Jeanne recently volunteered with us for our first SHSC Community Health Fair and is excited to volunteer at other upcoming events. If you're searching for a way to inspire others and meet a diverse, passionate group of individuals, sign up to be a Hero for Hope TODAY! >>> http://ow.ly/pttz50KKQR3
“My mom has always managed physician practices. I grew up around that environment. I loved going in with her and getting to see the doctors and nurses. I got my RN and followed up with my BSN while working at a small hospital in Kentucky.
The impact we make is why I’m proud to be a woman in medicine! I enjoy being a part of the facilitation of saving lives through donation. It’s a huge honor not only fulfilling a donor hero's wishes but also helping the donor family," said Lexington Medical Center MICU Charge Nurse and Donation Champion, Kim.
SHSC Manager of Hospital Services, Taylor, describes Kim as extremely reliable and positive. This picture is of Taylor and Kim, after she received the Hope Hero Award in 2021.
Kim was born and raised in Tennessee. When she isn't fulfilling her role of being a nurse, her favorite job is being a mom. In her free time, you can find her getting lost in a good book. Kim, THANK YOU for inspiring the community, offering hope & changing lives through the gift of organ, eye & tissue donation.
This September, honoring women who go above & beyond for the mission of organ, eye & tissue donation, specifically those among our healthcare & hospital partners. For National Women in Medicine Month, we're highlighting women who lead with purpose & inspire those around them.
Meet Carole. She's the Nursing Director of Critical Care at Mcleod Seacoast Hospital.
"As a young girl, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I wanted to be a missionary nurse overseas, but God had other plans for my life. I graduated & went straight into critical care. I fell in love with it & loved the challenge of taking care of the sickest patients. It pushes me to learn more & strive to be a better nurse & person.
It’s truly a special gift to be able to give life but also humbling to see the lives lost to save another soul. It’s so amazing to work with SHSC to give the gift of life. It takes a lot of work and communication to help make this possible, but it's all worth it.
As critical care nurses, we advocate for our patients when they can't do so for themselves. We're called to serve with our hands and hearts, showing & sharing compassion & knowledge with one another. We witness both the beginning & end of life. Our job never ends. We find peace, hope & joy in the care we provide.
I love nursing more today than when I started over forty years ago. I will never forget the struggles and the triumphs. Nursing is my calling for life, and I'm so blessed to be able to care for others."
My motto for life: 'I want to be able to make a difference in this world. To do this, one doesn't have to be smart, rich, perfect, or beautiful. One must care and be willing to give of yourself.'"
Carole is from Conway, SC and is a graduate of USC. She loves to cook, walk on the beach, listen to music, & spend time with family. Carole, THANK YOU for inspiring the community, offering hope & changing lives through the gift of organ, eye & tissue donation.
The donation and transplantation community has reached a historical milestone...one million transplants. This selfless gift is not possible without the generosity of donor families, donor heroes, and those who work tirelessly to honor every legacy, every life, every time. Today, We Are Sharing Hope SC celebrates one million second chances and honors the heroes and families who made this moment possible.
Brenda, Gary, and Angela are three of those one million impacted by this profound milestone...here are their stories. Donate Life America United Network for Organ Sharing MUSC Health Prisma Health
"If no one gives, no one gets. We're all in this together. My donor thought so. I hope you will too."
- Dr. Scott Allen, Liver Recipient 💙💚
It was 2009 in Texas when I found out about my liver issues. I lost my voice, & my CT scan came back showing lesions on the back of my throat (possible cancer cells). As a U.S. Navy veteran, I was at the VA, where the doctor said I had nothing to worry about, so I didn't.
When we moved to Hartsville, South Carolina to be closer to family, my doctor noticed I had a low platelet count. I went to a hepatologist & hematologist & found out toxins were backing up in my spleen & my liver was not releasing them properly. Doctors said they'd monitor it.
In 2014, I got really sick, lethargic, lightheaded, constant pain & my eyes turned yellow, so I scheduled my own appointment at MUSC. Dr. Willner added me to the waiting list in August 2016. When I got my doctorate in September, my wife said, 'You're going to get your liver by the end of the year."
We were in Charleston on New Year's Eve in Walmart when I got the call, "We have a liver for you. When can you come in?" Met my MUSC transplant team 6AM New Year's Day. At 3PM, it was sleeting & had freezing rain on the roads & the helicopter to get my liver couldn't fly. My heart sunk. Dr. Bratton said, "He isn't going to make it the next 6 months without the liver." Dr. Bratton decided to drive to Greenwood, SC (191 miles, 3 hrs) to get my liver.
My transplant happened 2AM Jan. 2, 2017. At 10AM, I woke up in recovery. When my wife told me how Dr. Bratton went above & beyond & drove to get my liver, I wanted to meet him. I expressed my thanks to him & his response? "It's my job." I went home January 31st, our wedding anniversary.
I now live life for my donor hero. I haven't met them, but I want them to know I'm appreciating the life they've given me. It's allowed me to see my son graduate high school, see him go on a mission trip & get a job.
ready for some FOOTBALL here at SHSC! 🏈💙💚 When you work hard, you deserve to play hard, and that's what our staff is prepared to do this football season. We held our very first NFL Fantasy Football Draft Party for staff last week, and everyone rocked their favorite sports jerseys and memorabilia. This fun, interactive way helps give employees who often don't work together an opportunity to connect with other parts of the SHSC family.
Special shoutout to our Football Fantasy Commissioner/SHSC Manager of Clinical Services, Gena Mayer and her husband, Tim, SHSC Tissue Recovery Coordinator for leading the way and teaching many of us the ropes. We're excited for some friendly competition and collaboration this season!
There are so many moving parts to fulfilling our mission at We Are Sharing Hope SC. A huge part of that is working TOGETHER as a team. 💙💚
Take a look at this team building activity that took place at one of our Clinical Services meetings. Our Clinical Donation Coordinators, Referral Triage Coordinators and Clinical Donation Specialists joined forces using spaghetti and marshmallow towers to see who could create the tallest one that would stand on it’s own for at least 30 seconds.
Since all of our teams don't always work together on a regular basis, it was nice to see these individuals collaborate in order to complete this challenge. At SHSC, unity is what allows us to continue changing lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.
Age does not exclude you from being a registered donor hero. Recently, a 93-year-old kidney donor hero, an 83-year-old liver donor hero and a 99-year-old cornea donor hero. There are very few automatic rule-outs, and because of medical advancements, many may change over time.
National Healthy Aging Month is recognized during September, starting as a way to encourage people to focus on their health and take precautions when faced with challenges that come with age. This month also spotlights the positive aspects of growing older…a blessing of experience, memories, and insight.
Sandy and Matt, mom and brother of donor hero Patrick, brought Reuben back into the SHSC office to surprise him with a painting that honored him for his more than 30 years of service dedicated to South Carolina families of donor heroes.
September 26, 2022 will make 30 years since Sandy's son Patrick suddenly passed away at just 2 1/2 years old. Sandy said during the past three decades, Reuben has been one of her greatest blessings by helping her navigate her grief, mentoring her, serving her, praying with and for her and becoming a part of her family.
It was at the 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah where the photo in this painting was taken. A bystander captured the picture during the Opening Ceremony when Team Ohio presented a sign that read, "Thank you, donor families." Sandy said at that moment, her emotions took over, and Reuben immediately stepped in to comfort her.
This watercolor painting was created by local artist Scott Foster, who told Sandy that the emotions in the picture were so strong that at certain times, he had to put the paintbrush down.
The painting will hang on display in the Reuben D. Wright Family Room located in our space reminding donor families that they are loved, supported and cared for by the We Are Sharing Hope SC family. 💙💚
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