ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – April is National Organ Donor Awareness Month, and UNM Hospital is celebrating the lives saved right here in New Mexico.
The ceremony Wednesday displayed 93 pinwheels, recognizing the 93 lives saved and the 36 donors who helped make it possible.
A donor family and a kidney recipient were at the event to share their experiences.
Matthew Aguilar says he waited 12 years for a kidney before a complete stranger changed his life.
“Ever since my kids were born, they only knew a sick dad. They never knew a healthy dad, but with this kidney transplant I’m healthy now,” Aguilar said. “I can do lots of things with my family now.”
The United Network for Organ Sharing says more than 700 patients in New Mexico are currently waiting for a transplant, with 247 of them being at UNM Hospital.