FIRST IN PRINT: Saving lives through organ donations

Staff reports

Peggy and Don Guillot suffered a traumatic loss years ago with their daughter Shawn. She was killed in a car accident but her life some how still lives on through others.

The Guillot family is one of the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency’s biggest fans because their daughter Shawn’s organ were distributed to those in need.

Although a life was taken away from them, they are able to give the gift of life to those in need.

Shawn’s heart went to a 58-year-old father who is married with one child. He is disabled but after only one week of surgery he was moved out of intensive care.

Not only was her heart given to help someone else, but also Shawn’s left kidney and pancreas went to a 24-year-old single man who suffered from diabetes. Her left kidney went to a 37-year-old mother of three who is a schoolteacher.

Shawn’s liver was given to a 42-year-old mother of two from Alabama who was a registered nurse.

Shawn’s corneas were recovered and transferred into two people who are now able to see, and her lungs were recovered for research.

The Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) is the federally designated organ procurement organization for the State of Louisiana. The agency focuses on educating the medical community and the general public about organ and tissue donation issues, working with families through the donation process, recovering donated organs and tissue, and placing the organs and tissue for transplant.

LOPA has its main office in Metairie, with regional offices in Lafayette, and Shreveport. Additionally, LOPA has representatives in Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Lake Charles, and Monroe.