DES MOINES, Iowa -- April is National Donate Life Month, and last year was a record year for Iowans giving the ultimate gift.
248 organs were transplanted to save the lives of others in 2018.
Organ donors and recipients were honored Monday at a ceremony and flag raising at MercyOne in Des Moines. Among those honored was Susan D'Amico of Waukee. She was on the wait list for a kidney for nearly two years. Her life was saved after a high school student passed away. She thanked the young woman's family for their generosity.
Jessica Shnurman was also honored. She and her husband decided to donate the organs of their daughter, Lila, who only lived nine days. They knew early in the pregnancy that Lila wouldn't survive long but knew her life could still make a big impact.
“You know everyone gets to talk about their children as they grow up and hit every milestone, win award, and her's is a different story. Me telling her story is a way to honor her and be proud of her for what she's done,” said Shnurman.
1.8 million Iowans are now registered donors. That is 73 percent of the adults in the state.