BANGOR – A Winterport woman was at the hospital’s event to honor her father, who donated six organs after he unexpectedly died.
Eastern Maine Medical Center introduced a tabling setup Thursday – where people can register to be an organ donor.
April is “National Donate Life Month”. The hospital said there are currently more than 100,000 people currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.
Michele Metzler said she knows the importance of being an organ donor because of her father. When he died in 2012, his donated organs saved six people.
“Knowing that my dad was an organ donor and that he made those wishes known to us was really helpful,” said Metzler. “It helped us in the grieving process to know that we were helping others.”
The Winterport woman said within a few weeks she started doing volunteer work. He was a big proponent of registering to be an organ donor.
“He was the type of guy that made everything a learning experience, so it seemed like a really natural fit for me to help,” said Metzler.
Her father had a healthy lifestyle – and so after his death – was able to donate both kidneys, his lungs, liver, some tissue, and his heart.
“His heart recipient is so grateful,” said Metzler. “She actually said that she’s able to walk so many more miles.”
Event organizers said EMMC will have a table all month where people can register. Senior Vice President of Operations Marc Edelman said he encourages people to register so that others can “have someone else enjoy life, be able to go outside, be able to spend time with their family.”
Metzler got emotional while talking to the gathered hospital staff, but insisted they were happy tears. She passed on her father’s message to her family and to all potential organ donors.
“They have the power to be a superhero,” said Metzler. “And they have the power to save so many other people’s lives.”
Organ donor registration can be done when renewing a license, at Eastern Maine Medical Center, or on their website.