Organ donation: How it can help

Organ donation advocates are asking people to consider donating life (WHAM photo)

NEW YORK - Asking a grieving family about donating their loved ones organs is an emotional challenged for health care givers.

Judy Hess has that tough job.

However, waiting for the call that a donated organ has come is also difficult.

Waiting is something our own Scott Hetsko did.

One year ago, he received a life-saving heart transplant thanks to a donor.

Only 34 percent of people in the Finger Lakes region are organ donors.

New York State ranks second to last for organ donation.

Hess says that's sometimes due to myths, being uninformed or grief.

Scott Semans was faced with a hard decision at the time of his sister, Heather's, death.

"My feeling was you're not going to take anything more from Heather. She leaving us with everything she has. She struggled her whole life. With type one diabetes and mental illness," said Semans.

He says it was Hess who helped him make that decision to donate her organs.

“And this is just a gift, okay, to somebody else that can be carried forward," said Semans. “Plus it helps the families to know that a little bit of their loved one gets to live on so it gives them hope and helps them through the grieving process immensely.”