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Nova Scotia nurse Sonya Deal champions Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness

Photo of a woman smiling at the camera. She has brown hair with side bangs and is wearing brown-framed glasses.

In the bustling healthcare landscape of Nova Scotia, registered nurse Sonya Deal has stood as a beacon of dedication and compassion for over three decades. Deal's journey culminated in a pivotal role as an Organ Donor Coordinator with Legacy of Life, a program facilitating organ and tissue donation across multiple provinces. She credits her diverse experiences, from critical care units to emergency medical services, where she witnessed firsthand the transformative power of organ and tissue donation.

Transitioning into an Organ Donor Coordinator role, Deal now spends her time helping get donations to patients in need. "The referral for organ donation comes through our program. The coordinators do the medical screening for suitability," she explained, emphasizing the meticulous process of ensuring donations are viable and ethically sound.

Deal's passion for her work shines through when asked about her motivations. "I enjoy the pace of managing a donation process - the medical screening assessment, the organizing, managing logistics, and working with many different health care providers and associated personnel," she shared, highlighting the dynamic nature of her responsibilities. But the most significant point of pride is knowing that Legacy of Life plays a pivotal role in helping patients in need get lifesaving healthcare and give people a second chance in life, as well as the impact on donor families. "They are experiencing a terrible time with the loss of a loved one. Knowing that something good can come from a tragic situation can help the grieving process and give meaning to their loss."

Deal's advocacy extends beyond the technical aspects of donation, and she wants everyone to consider becoming a donor. "Complete your MSI registered decision on your MSI renewal form and discuss with your family what your wishes are," she urged, recognizing the critical role of informed decision-making in times of crisis. "Organ and tissue donation is a lifesaving measure. The impacts are far-reaching. You never know when someone you care about may be on that waitlist for a lifesaving donation." There is no better time than during National Organ and Tissue Donation Week to start the discussion with your loved ones.

Deal epitomized the lifesaving impact of organ and tissue donation through her unwavering dedication. Her journey, from frontline nursing to coordinating vital donation processes, exemplifies the profound difference individuals can make in enhancing healthcare outcomes and fostering awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation.

Photo of registered nurse Sonya Deal.

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