PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) April is national "Donate Life Month". And it was celebrated Wednesday with a remembrance of a former Parkersburg Police officer who became an organ and tissue donor.
Doug McClain, a 41-year veteran of the police force, who was the Police Resource Officer at Parkersburg High School for many years, passed away from a heart attack shortly after his retirement in 2016.
His wife, Penny, agreed to donate his vital organs and tissues to West Virginia University for scientific research.
Wednesday, that story was told at WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center, as a reminder to promote organ and tissue donation.
"That, inevitably, would help up to 50 different people, and help his legacy as a hero," noted Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin. "Even though he's not there to see it, (Penny) gets to benefit from that."
Currently, 49% of Wood County residents are organ and tissue donors.
Nationally, 114,000 people are awaiting organ transplants.
"Once you put it on your license that you'd like to save lives through organ, tissue or eye donation," says Kathy Warhola, Regional Hospital Development Directior for Lifeline of Ohio, "then your family doesn't have to make that decision. We can use that authorization at the time of a person's death."