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Tissue Donation

The Chance to Heal Others

One tissue donor can save or improve the quality of life for more than 100 patients.

The most commonly donated tissues include: corneas, heart valves, skin, veins, bone and tendons.

How Tissue Helps

Donated tissue is used in many surgical situations on a daily basis, benefitting those with serious or life-threatening medical needs. Patients with severe burns, athletes with torn ligaments or tendons, military personnel recovering from traumatic injuries – these people and more can be healed through the gift of tissue donation.

Anyone over the age of 16, regardless of age or health, can register to be donor.

The Baumgart family

The Baumgart Family

When Laura Baumgart’s husband Rod died, she was supportive of his decision to be a donor. But it wasn’t until she received a letter a year later that she began to understand the true impact of his donation. Ninety-five lives were impacted by Rod’s gifts of bone, tissue and veins. Years later, Laura and her son Ryan would themselves benefit from tissue donation.

Read their story

The Donation Process

Tissue donation is usually completed within 24 hours after an individual’s death.

Donation Potential

Live On Nebraska is notified by hospitals and other referring organizations when a patient dies. We first check the Donor Registry to see if the potential donor is registered. If they are not, the potential donor’s legal decision maker is called and asked to decide if they would like donation to take place. At the same time, we’ll conduct an interview to review the donor’s medical and social history to ensure the safety of future recipients.


In most cases, the donation surgery takes place at the Live On Nebraska offices in Omaha, with great care given to respect the donor’s body and maintain the viability and safety of the tissues being recovered. A moment of silence is observed prior to the surgery to honor the donor and the generosity of this gift of life.

Preparation & Transplant

After the donation surgery, donated tissues are sent to tissue processors that package and prepare the tissues for transplant. Once a recipient for the tissue has been identified, it’s sent to the physician who will perform the transplant surgery. Tissue may be stored up to five years.

Donor Family Care

Following donation, our Aftercare Program provides grief support to families and honors the donor over the next 13 months.