PUNTA GORDA, Fla – (February 5, 2016) – Bayfront Health Punta Gorda Hospital raised a flag Tuesday, February 2nd, in honor of Jonathan Cornell, a military veteran whose selflessness extended beyond service to his country, into a commitment to save the lives of others after death through organ and tissue donation. A Donate Life flag flew from the hospital’s flagpole to recognize Jonathan’s generosity, which ultimately saved the lives for four individuals in need of transplantation.
Jonathan was visiting from Georgia for a paintball tournament when he sustained an unexpected and sudden stroke, which ultimately took his life, despite every last effort made by medical professionals. Because Jonathan had chosen to register as an organ donor on Georgia’s donor registry, his donation wishes were honored. During the Donate Life flagraising, Jonathan’s family and representatives of the hospital gathered to celebrate the memory of a young man who was a hero in life, through years of military service to his country, and now in death will remain forever a hero in the lives of those he saved through his gifts of organ donation.
This inaugural flag raising kicked off an initiative that will be continued throughout 2016. Going forward, anytime organ donation takes place at Bayfront Health Punta Gorda, a Donate Life flag will be flown as a reminder to hospital staff, visitors and the community of that individual’s generous decision. After three days the flag will come down, and be presented to the family to keep. Photos and video of the ceremony can be viewed online (and available for direct download).
Today, we encourage everyone to follow the example of those individuals whose gifts will be noted by Donate Life flags, and take action to save lives. Register on Florida’s organ and tissue donor registry to become an organ and tissue donor by visiting www.DonateLifeFlorida.org.
One organ donor can potentially save the lives of eight people, and improve the lives of dozens more through tissue donation. Donation, with the primary exception of living donation, occurs after death and deciding to register as a donor does not impact one’s medical care should an illness or accident occur. People of all ages can choose to donate and help others in need, and donation is supported by all major religions as a personal choice and act of generosity. Donation places no financial burden on the donor’s family.
Contact LifeLink® of Florida for more information about organ and tissue donation. LifeLink of Florida is a non-profit community service organization dedicated to the recovery of organs and tissues for transplantation. To register as an organ donor, visit www.DonateLifeFlorida.org.