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7,746,007 New Yorkers have joined the NYS Donate Life Registry

More than 8,000 New Yorkers await lifesaving organ transplants

Rea Konowish’s husband, Paul, fathered three children, and was a business owner and an organ donor.

After a sudden death, Konowish said his organs were able to help others. She said one recipient made sure to share their gratitude her, saying in a letter that he was a burn victim who received Paul’s tissue.

“With the help of Paul’s donation, they were able to graft the tissue and then the skin was applied, I imagine through surgery, to grow again. And after 3 1/2 months of not walking, he was able to see that his skin was repairing and he was able to walk again. And dozens of surgeries later, Paul’s act of kindness, which we think is so monumental, made the difference in his life,” Konowich said.

She, along with staff from St. Joseph’s Health, are encouraging others to become organ donors. They said New York ranks last in the nation in the number of organ donors.

There are 8,085 New Yorkers waiting for lifesaving organ transplants, according to Donate Life New York State.