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Organ Donation

Making the Most of Life 

Over 100,000 Americans need an organ transplant to save their life. But there’s good news. We all have the power to help.

Six organs can be donated: heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, small intestine and pancreas.

With these gifts, one donor can save up to eight lives.

Deceased Donation

When our organs are no longer needed by our own body, they can benefit others. Deceased donation takes place after an individual has died. All six organs are evaluated to determine which of them can help others. Organ donors are remembered as heroes for giving generously to save the lives of others.

Living Donation

If you’ve ever heard of someone who’s living and gave a kidney to a friend or family member, that’s living donation. Along with kidneys, a portion of the liver can also be given. Living donors are carefully evaluated to make sure they’re a good candidate for donation, and there is never a cost for donation.

Meet Beckett

Six-year-old Beckett Arp was a dinosaur expert, gracious friend and curious boy who “lit up the world.” When he died suddenly, his parents said choosing to donate his organs and tissues was a “no-brainer.” With the support of their family and community, the Arps have found hope and comfort knowing Beckett continues to live on.

See Beckett's story

The Donation Process

The following outlines how deceased organ donation takes place. Each donation opportunity is different, but in general, the organ donation process can take a few days. Tissue donation is completed within 24 hours of the individual’s death.

Patient Notification

Live On Nebraska is notified by hospitals and other partners when an individual has passed or their family has made the difficult decision to end life-sustaining care. The potential donor must be in a hospital and supported by ventilation in order for organ donation to take place, however, tissue donation is still an option for individuals who do not meet organ donation criteria.


We first check the Donor Registry to confirm that the potential donor is registered. If they are not registered, a family support coordinator works with the potential donor’s legal decision-maker to decide if they would like donation to take place. If they decide to donate, an organ donor remains in their hospital room and continues to be supported by ventilation until the organs and tissues can be recovered.

Donor Care

We thoroughly screen each donor to determine which organs and tissues can safely be donated, review current health and past medical history, and talk with the donor’s family members to identify any conditions or lifestyle choices that could affect future recipients.

Finding Recipients

Organ recipients are identified through the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Their sophisticated program determines the best match by looking at factors such as blood type, size, medical urgency and distance from the donor.

Recovery & Transplant

After recipients have been identified, the donation surgery is scheduled. A moment of silence is observed prior to the surgery to honor the donor and his/her generosity. Great care is given to respect the donor’s body and to maintain the condition and safety of the recovered organs. After surgery, the organs are taken to the recipient’s transplant center and transplanted immediately.

Family Care

Our family support coordinators care for the donor’s family throughout the donation process, answering questions, creating keepsakes of the donor and providing any support that’s needed. Our Aftercare Program also provides grief support to families and honors the donor in the 13 months following donation.