Healthy lifestyle important for organ donors

LifeLink educators say they are experiencing a shortage of people listed as organ donors / Sarah Bleau

In our Facebook Story of the Day, viewers wanted to know more about what the regulations are to be an organ donor.

According to LifeLink educators, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle if there are plans to be an organ donor.

They say being an organ donor is more than signing up on your driver's license or state registry.

"It's living healthy and that's a component we really try to push in the community: Eating healthy, exercising, taking care of yourself so that your organs will be healthy enough to be transplanted," says Carla Hawkins, Southwest Georgia Education Specialist for LifeLink.

The medical history and current health situation of a patient is evaluated before the organs are used. Hawkins says this is why it is a myth that doctors are less likely to save your life if you are admitted to the hospital.

"Seeing organ donor on your license doesn't tell the doctor whether or not you're a alcoholic, a drunk addict, you have aids, cancer, different diseases in different situations that could inhibit you from becoming an organ donor," says Hawkins.

She says people who smoke can still be organ donors; doctors may not be able to use the lungs but could still use other organs like the heart.

To learn more about becoming an organ donor, visit the LifeLink website as well as the Donate Life Georgia page.

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