Organ donation celebrated, encourage after 50 years of transplants in the islands

Organ donation celebrated, encourage after 50 years of transplants in the islands
A ceremony was held Tuesday to celebrate the legacy of organ donation in Hawaii. (HNN)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Legacy of Life Hawaii is celebrating 50 years of organ transplants in Hawaii.

More than 2,200 transplants have been performed since the first procedure in 1969 at St. Francis Medical Center.

Since 2012, Queen’s Medical Center has performed more than 430 transplants.

On Tuesday, donors, their families and recipients celebrated together. Among the crowd was Fred Krauss of Maui.

Some 16 years ago, he was fighting for his life when he got the call that a new liver was ready for him.

He later found out it came from a man named Rick Settlemire.

“I kind of think that Rick picked Fred because he is so grateful, and it was part of our healing journey to have someone like Fred around,” Rick’s wife, Karen Settlemire, said.

Recipient hope more people will come forward as organ donors.

“If there is any hesitation about donating life, Karen and I have been talking about it, it’s probably the hardest decision you’ll have to make — most sorrowful time in your family’s life. But know that the person lives on through other people,” Krauss said.

The Settlemires now consider Fred part of the family.

There are about 300 people are currently on Hawaii’s waiting list.

For more information on donating, click here

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