Tissue Donation

One tissue donor can heal and enhance the lives of over 75 people.




More than 1 million tissue transplant
surgeries are performed each year in the US.





Tissues that are most commonly donated include skin, bone, corneas, heart valves, and veins.

How Tissue Helps

Donated tissue is used in many daily surgical applications to restore mobility, strength, and hope to people with serious or life-threatening medical needs. Patients with severe burns, defective heart valves, bone cancer, breast reconstruction, and torn ligaments or tendons can all benefit from the gift of donated tissue.


Kacey, a survivor of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, received the gift of tissue which saved her arm from amputation allowing her to hug her kids with both arms.

Read her story


The Tissue Donation Process

Tissue donation is typically completed within 24 hours after an individual's death.

Donation Potential
HonorBridge is notified by hospitals and other referring organizations when a patient dies. First, the Donor Registry is checked to see if the potential donor is registered. If they are not on the Donor Registry, the potential donor's legal decision maker is contacted and asked if they would like donation to take place. At the same time, a medical evaluation will take place based on available social and family information to ensure the safety of recipients.

Recovery takes place in the operating room at HonorBridge's Durham location or at an operating room within a hospital. Great care is given to each donor out of respect and to ensure the viability of the recovered tissues. A moment of honor is observed prior to surgery to honor the donor and the generosity of the gift being given.

After the donation recovery, each donor is respectfully and properly prepared for funeral arrangements.