If one story can be both sad and wonderful at the same time, it's this one.

It's never easy to lose a loved one, but it's comforting to know that loss may help the life of others and there were reportedly a record number of those life-saving gifts in Iowa in 2020.

CBS2 reports news from the Iowa Donor Network that despite the pandemic and its concerns and restrictions, this past year saw the highest number of organ donations ever in the state. By extension, this resulted in the most organ transplants.

There were 103 deceased organ donors and 300 transplants altogether. That beats a record, set no so long ago in 2019. It's a 12-percent increase in donations and a 4-percent rise in transplants which tells us how vital the unselfishness and generosity of  Iowans can be.

There are still 108,00 Iowans in need of organ transplants. If you're not registered as an organ donor, you can do so anytime with the Iowa Donor Network.  The CEO of the organization, Suzanne Conrad gives thanks to those who have registered.

I am incredibly proud that Iowa Donor Network was able to save more lives in 2020 than in any previous year. Despite the many challenges of 2020, our donor families continued to put their trust in us and say, “Yes” to donation. We are honored and thankful for their trust which exemplifies the true nature of the human spirit, the belief that even in the worst of times, there is good in the world.

It's no secret that the challenges of the pandemic exponentially added to the strain on healthcare workers this year, and Conrad goes on to thank her organization's partners in that community for their continued dedication.

It goes without saying that condolences go out to the loved ones of those lost. Beyond the gratitude for the Iowa Donor Network and the healthcare providers they work with, those whose lives will be saved and their loved ones will be endlessly appreciative. But, as Iowa donors, we know it's the gift of love and life that's the reward.

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