‘It’s a life. It’s a story’: Grand Strand Health honors organ donors, families with Wall of Hope

Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 5:25 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2022 at 5:43 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Grand Strand Health and We are Sharing Hope SC teamed up to honor organ donors and their families by dedicating the Wall of Hope to them at the Grand Strand Medical Center.

The Wall of Hope is located near the lobby of the south entrance at Grand Strand Medical Center.

“This was one of the ideas that was hatched in Grand Strand by some donor family members as well as a way to remember their loved ones, but like I said not just remember, but to be able to celebrate,” said David Destefano, the CEO of We are Sharing Hope SC. “So our hope is to have a wall like this in all the hospitals in South Carolina.”

From 2012 through 2021, 125 organ donors from Grand Strand Health have saved 367 lives.

“I think it helps personalize things,” said Dr. George Hemrich, the chief medical officer of Grand Strand Health. “It’s not a kidney or a liver. It’s a life. It’s a story.”

This wall tells the stories of three different families and how organ transplants have changed their lives.

“I know she wanted to give back and help someone else or continue someone to have life and I feel like I’ve done an awesome job for her to let her legacy live on,” said Mary Hill Inman.

Inman’s daughter Lakendra saved three lives and enhanced many more through organ and tissue donation after she passed away in 1994.

Her story inspires others to become organ donors.

Reverend Richard Williams waited three years before receiving a kidney transplant.

“The wait is long and the wait is hard and you gotta have something within you that keeps pushing you,” said Williams.

He stated that he was a firm believer that the greatest gift you can give to humanity is life after your life.

“When you think about life after life being lived out because you were selfless,” said Williams.

Jane and Alan Sipe have been advocates for organ and tissue donation for the past 15 years, bringing a different perspective to donating.

“That is the person who needs the organ, but it doesn’t come in time and that person passes away,” said Alan Sipe.

The Sipes’ son, Justin, was just three months old when he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. In college, he was listed for a double lung transplant. After waiting two years without a donation, he passed away.

“We lost our son because there was not enough organs and we want to see that there are enough organs so no one else has to lose a loved one,” said Sipe.

You can learn more about organ donation at Sharing Hope SC or Donate Life SC.

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