MASON CITY — MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center today is celebrating “Inspire Iowa to Donate Life Month” on the heels of a bill being passed by the Iowa legislature that encourages organ, tissue and skin donations.
The House and Senate unanimously gave final approval this week to “Logan’s Law”, named after 15-year-old Logan Luft, a Charles City teen who died from head injuries sustained in an ATV accident in July 2017. Five of Logan’s major organs were donated after the accident. The bill would allow people to designate that they want to be a donor to make that designation on their hunting or fishing license.
Logan’s mother Wendy Luft was the guest speaker for today’s event at MercyOne North Iowa. Luft says once doctors determined that Logan could not be saved, they talked about the possibilities of Logan’s organs being donated. At that time immediately we began to talk as a family about organ donation and we really had not had any experience about organ donation, so really didn’t know what to expect. They shared with us the opportunity to be able to save lives through his major organs and that’s when they sat us down and we went through the whole process.”
Luft says it’s been very rewarding to see the impacts of Logan’s donations, including the first recipient they met, a 15-year-old Minnesota girl named Faith. “She happened to be in the hospital at Mayo Clinic at the time, she was fighting a virus. We went up to meet her family and just spent the day with them and it was awesome. The family is amazing and the connection we had immediately to little Faith was just, it was immediate, and just to be able to stand there and her mom showed us the incision where Logan’s liver was. The first comment she made to me was ‘you know from here on out, this little girl is just as much yours as she is mine’. I think as a mom I was just so overcome with that feeling of Logan’s not gone, you know he’ll live on forever.”
Luft says her husband got the idea of allowing hunters and fishers to declare being an organ donor on their licenses after hearing about Minnesota passing a similar law last year. She says her entire family made several trips to Des Moines to talk with legislators about the bill. “A lot of it was clarification. They really didn’t understand why we were trying so hard to push for organ donation. Then we came upon a group that really felt like ‘yeah we all support organ donation but we don’t support tissue donation’. We feel like some people are going into it thinking they’re going to be an organ donor and really 97% into being tissue donors, so they wanted to make sure the education was as critical with tissue donation as it is with organ donation.”
Besides designating that you want to be an organ donor on your driver’s license and soon to be on your hunting or fishing license, you can also register at iowadonornetwork.org.
You can listen to our entire conversation with Wendy Luft by clicking on the audio player below