LifeNet honors southwest Virginia officers for help finding organ donors

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - Local law enforcement officers are being recognized for their help uniting people with needed organ transplants.

Thursday LifeNet Health thanked those officers with a special luncheon at the Hidden Valley Country Club.

LifeNet Health describes itself as "the world's most trusted provider of transplant solutions, from organ procurement to new innovations in bio-implant technologies and cellular therapies."

Leaders from the organization encourage officers to make referrals whenever they respond to a scene where someone has passed away unexpectedly. They say time is of the essence when collecting donations.

During the luncheon, a retired Norfolk police lieutenant shared how this issue became personal after his heart attack.

"I was on code nine at ten minutes after ten on the 21 of March, 1986 and I waited a total of 20 minutes and I got my heart," said Pat Tauro

LifeNet leaders say officers are asked to make referrals only after completing their investigation and notifying family. They say having law enforcement assist with this endeavor is another way they can "protect and serve."

"Two minutes. Doesn't take long," Tauro said of the phone call to make a referral. But make that phone call. Make sure that this tissue is able to save someone else. Protect and serve and this is a great way to serve."