Need for organ donations on the rise in Idaho

Posted at 6:09 PM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-20 20:17:01-04

With organ transplant success rates at all time highs and the aging Baby Boomer generation to take into consideration, the need for organ donors is on the rise.

In 2015, a record number of lives were saved thanks to willing donors in Idaho. However, at the same time, the waiting list for organ transplants continues to grow.

Representatives from multiple agencies who work every day to spread awareness were recognized Wednesday in Boise, including family members of donors.

Sixteen-year-old Shauna Hill passed away from injuries she received after being involved in a car crash a few years back.

The Treasure Valley teenager was a competitive figure skater. Her mother, Heidi, said she was always genuinely happy.

Heidi Hill spoke at the recognition ceremony at the Idaho Transportation Department's office, saying coming to terms with the fact Shauna was gone wasn't easy. But, being able to have something positive come out of the tragic situation was an option that brought the Hills peace of mind.

"We didn't know how we were going to survive without her and then I got to thinking of people who have loved ones or family members that may die because they were sick and needed an organ," Hill said.

Hill knew her daughter would want to have helped others out. Shauna's heart is allowing for a sick Washington woman to live out her dream of getting married and having kids. And, another recipient was a mother of five in critical condition who needed a new liver.

Amid devastation at the loss, the Hill family regained a sense of hope through helping others.

"It's a way to get out of your own misery and do something to help somebody else," Hill said.

Most everyone can become an organ, eye and tissue donor. In doing so, you can give the gift of sight and even help burn victims recover.

"What a lot of people don't realize is one organ donor can save up to nine lives and if you add in tissues, you can effect up to 50-60 lives," said Alex McDonald with Intermountain Donor Services. "So, it's quite a legacy to leave behind."

You can sign up at any time by heading to

Or, you can wait until you go to renew your driver's license.