Donate Life: Laura’s Story

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Two women with their arms around each other
(L-R) Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point Human Resources Assistant and organ donor Laura Sammon-Linton and sister and donor recipient Tinamarie Sammon

A few small scars. Those are the only physical reminders Laura Sammon-Linton, a human resources assistant at HCA Healthcare-affiliate Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, sees to remind her of the life-saving gift she shared with a family member. A few small scars, and a healthy sister.

At an early age, Laura’s younger sister, Tinamarie, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes – a condition, their mother, a registered nurse and diabetes educator, explained would likely require a kidney transplant in the future. Thirty years later, their mother’s prediction came true.

“My sister was frightened and devastated,” Laura said. “I told her not to worry – we would get through this together. At that time, I had no idea what it would mean for my future.”

What she did know, however, is a sister’s bond is unbreakable. Six months after her sister learned her kidneys were failing, Laura, who started at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point as a volunteer, donated one of hers.

“Post-transplant I was very tired and sore,” she said. “I recovered at home for one month, and within six months, I was feeling like my normal self.”

There are currently more than 100,000 individuals listed on the transplant waiting list for a kidney transplant alone. Last year, 17,878 Americans received a kidney transplant and 5,986 of those lives were saved as a result of a living donor.

“Do your homework,” Laura urged. “This is a major surgery. You are going to be tired while your body adjusts to life with one kidney. In spite of that, it was a good choice for me.”

Laura added that, for her sister, she would go through the process all over again without hesitation.

Every 10 minutes a new name is added to the national transplant waiting list.  Unfortunately, 22 people die every day in the United States waiting on a life-saving transplant.

That’s why Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point is participating in a campaign to Let Life Bloom through organ donation during April’s Donate Life Month.

Not everyone will have the opportunity to be a living donor like Laura, but many lives can be impacted simply by saying “yes” to donation.

“Why throw away life-saving organs when they could do so much good for others?” Laura asked rhetorically.

Visit Donate Life here to learn how you could potentially save eight lives through organ donation and impact dozens more as a tissue donor.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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