ST. CLOUD -- July saw the most organ and tissue donations ever throughout the upper Midwest.

According to LifeSource 28 organ donors and 118 tissue donors saved over 8,800 lives with their gift of generosity.

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Katie McKee is with LifeSource, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation. She credits the donation increases in part to their modified collaborative process with area hospitals.

In 2021, we launched a hospital collaboration model. We've evolved from being a specialist who was called in, to being more of an integrated member with the team and having more opportunities for education. We've seen a lot of success with this model.

McKee says they have permanent staff in roughly 30 hospitals across the regions, including at St. Cloud Hospital. She says continued education and resources have helped more people consider organ donation.

One person can save eight lives by donating organs, heal more than 75 lives by recovering tissue and restore sight for up to 10 individuals through eye donation.

Here locally, St. Cloud Hospital had 13 organ donors last month alone, compared to just 7 donors for all of 2021.

Dr. Jacob Lyons is an Intensivist Specialty Director at St. Cloud Hospital. He says conversations around organ donation is becoming a more common.

More often than not these days, I will have family members ask about it before it comes up in conversation. Folks are aware of it and thinking about as they go through these difficult circumstances.

Lyons also credits the increased collaboration with LifeSource as it takes many people working together to make the donation process happen in a short period of time

LifeSource has a goal of achieving 1,000 transplants from local donors by 2027.

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