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Organ donations from Sgt. Craig Johnson to save countless lives

Posted at 4:17 PM, Jul 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 20:15:48-04

"Craig was one of those people that selflessly served,” said Jerad Lindsey with Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police.

As memorials grow for fallen Tulsa Police Sgt. Craig Johnson, his impact on the community will live on forever.

”I think it’s only fitting that his last act was saving four additional lives for organ donation,” Lindsey said.

One of Johnson’s last acts of service is what so many in the organ donation community are grateful for.

"Not a day goes by that I don't celebrate that kid, and he's growing up with me in a very spiritual sense," said Karen Hoyt, an organ transplant recipient. "I feel very close to him. It's an indescribable relationship.”

Hoyt, a former high-school teacher and cancer survivor, received a liver transplant from a teenager who lost his life in 2015.

"As an organ recipient, yes, we go on, we live our lives, and we live it to the fullest, but much much more than that," Hoyt said. "Our lives forever become entwined with our donor."

Speaking of living life to the fullest, Karen went on to compete in the donor games—even winning a gold medal.

The need for people to sign up and become an organ donor is nationwide.

Jeffery Orlowski with LifeShare of Oklahoma said,”We're acutely in need of organs in this country and in Oklahoma. The waiting list currently in Oklahoma is about 600 a month. That varies from day to day, but roughly 600 patients on the waiting list nationally. That number is in excess of 120,000, and every day about 22 people nationwide will die on the waiting list without getting an organ that they need. So absolutely. We need everybody to make the decision to be a donor and to register to be a donor, and to communicate it to them."

Amazingly, 64% of Oklahomans 18 and older have already signed up to be organ donors.

If you want to be an organ donor, visit LifeShare of Oklahoma's website.

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