by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
LifeShare: Saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donations. 2018-Another record breaking year in saving and enhancing lives through donation. For the fifth consecutive year, LifeShare set organization records in organ transplanted, tissue donors recovered and lives saved.
Are you an organ or tissue donor? Did you know that there were 487 lives saved in 2018 by LifeShare donors in Oklahoma? Did you know that there were 188 organ donors and 1,036 tissue donors? Did you know that one person is added to the waiting list every ten minutes? Did you know that every day, there are twenty-two people on the waiting list that die due to not receiving an organ? These are the statistic nationwide.
Meet Debbie Boyes, RN and Hospital Liaison at LifeShare, Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma. Debbie is the Team Lead for the Hospital Development unit. She has been a nurse for eleven years and has been with LifeShare for three and half years.
Debbie has many responsibilities that come along with her job. The Lead Team supports the families and is also considered the keeper of relationships. The Lead Team is all is responsible for all of the education that goes to LifeShare, information to physician, nurses and the Chaplain.
“I stay busy when I visit the hospitals; making relationships regarding donors plus getting to know the nurses, physicians and respiratory therapists. The Hospital Development team makes and strengthens relationships with the staff in the hospitals. They are our hospital partners and I make it my mission to make sure every single person assigned to the case is aware of everything that is going on. I go to different hospitals in Oklahoma and teach nurses about LifeShare,” Debbie commented. “I enjoy talking to the nurses, looking for opportunities to share the information and educating them on processes that LifeShare goes through,” she added. Everyone at LifeShare does a fantastic job and I am proud to be working for such a loving, caring place.”
What is your biggest asset at work? “My biggest asset at work is the support that my colleagues give to each other. Each one is a team player. Working at LifeShare is dealing with a lot of emotions. There is an incredible joy when a donor is found. On the other side of the coin, there is dealing with grief for the one that lost their life,” Debbie replied.
Asking Debbie to describe herself, she said, “I am a very positive person. I am passionate about the things I care for the most. I always try to focus on what is hand, nothing else. I have learned the benefits of problems and challenges and continue to learn all the time. We save lives and each one is a precious gift; working on a timeline, we have to stay focused. Also, I teach classes to nurses all over and it is true joy. I love my job here and nothing grabs my heart like saving a life. I know that God allowed me to have this job.”
Married to her wonderful husband, Mark, they have two children, Elizabeth and Matt. They also have four grandchildren; Jake – eleven, Rylee – nine, Dylan – six and Max is four months old. What a blessing!
Spare time is a little rare but when Debbie does have some extra time, she enjoys her hobbies, including hiking, nature photography, traveling, and golf. “I find every one of these hobbies to be very relaxing,” she said with a smile.
What motivates you to come to work every day? “As most of you probably know, when LifeShare has a donor, it leaves that family with a big void in their life. That is the sad part. That is when I have to think of something happy. I always think of a phone call. Somewhere, someone is getting a really good phone call today. I concentrate on the really good phone call from the transplant office. It is kind of like a bitter/sweet moment. I find myself living by those daily words.”
Debbie’s first job as a nurse was working at Midwest City Regional. From there, she was an RN at the Laser Spine Institute. Now, she says “My job here at LifeShare is the best job that I have ever had!”
Summing up Debbie’s life in one sentence, she said, “IT’S A GREAT RIDE!”
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