A flag to keep
The flag that flies for organ donors at JPS appears to have shrunk, but it has, in fact, multiplied.
Tradition holds that when a family consents to organ donation, the Donate Life Flag is hoisted on the eastern-most of three poles at the garden south of the Patient Care Pavilion. It flies in the donor’s honor for 24 hours. Family members often go the Swati Gandhi Memorial Garden and linger, as the flag flutters overhead, before leaving campus for the final time.
“Families are so touched by the flag,” said LifeGift donation clinical specialist Tasha Horton. “They love the flag,” oftentimes so much that they want to possess it. Wishing that she did not have to say no, Horton proposed a new procedure, which has been approved by LifeGift as a pilot project at JPS.
Each organ and tissue donor now has a flag that is his or her own. The smaller, 5-by-8 flags still fly for 24 hours, but sit below the institutional JPS flag instead of in its place. When it’s time to take down the flag, each is mailed to the donor’s family.