OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - East Alabama Medical Center is saluting the gift of life in a special way.
With consent from the family, EAMC raises a white "Donate Life Flag" outside the hospital, honoring the patient and family during the organ donation procedure.
EAMC employee, Amy Mctier tears up, thinking about how much she misses her father. He died in 2002 and was an organ donor for three people.
"I am aware of when that flag flies and if I ride by it on the weekend, I know and I say a prayer for those families," she said.
The hospital began the practice five years ago.
"This flag is a tangible something to hold on to, to show the honor the greatness of that gift giving," explained Angela Haffernam, Alabama Organ Center coordinator. "We actually take the flag and present it to the family. We also have a certificate saying when it was flown at the hospital and the days it was left there."
Mctier encourages families to discuss organ donation and make their wishes known. For her family, donation was a way for their dad to live on by bettering and saving the lives of three people who she has since become friends with.
"You know you had an impact you can give that fit of life to another person, and it was meaningful for us at the time and more so now because we know the result of things," Mctier said.
In Alabama, 3,500 people are awaiting organ transplants, and that number swells to 123,000 nationwide.
For more information on organ donation please visit http://donatelife.net/