National story sheds light on organ donor need

10:40 PM, Jun 13, 2013   |    comments
10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan /NBC News
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A 10-year-old girl made national headlines after she was unable to find an organ donor and nearly died. Sarah Murnaghan finally got a double lung transplant Wednesday after her family in Pennsylvania received media attention for her plight.

Many other people aren't as fortunate. UT Medical Center says more than 100,000 people are on organ waiting lists right now, but there are only around 3,000 donors out there, so hundreds of people will die waiting.

Surgeons at UT say whether you donate while living or after you die, ti could make a bigger impact than you might think.

"To me it's an amazing gift that I'm in awe of every time I witness it, but it's a health care crisis. You have the opportunity to improve the life of 50 people by becoming an organ and tissue donor," said transplant surgeon Alex Cantafio.

All you have to do to become an organ donor in the event of your death is to let family members know you want to donate. It's also a good idea to make it official by filling out the back of your driver's license, or by visiting

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