Thursday, March 26, 2009

That's why I love my United States of America!

I just wanted to say...Thank you to John Hege. Rest in peace, Sir. You are one of the American who makes America the way she is now in medical field.... A great Country!! I respect your care, your way of living, your thought for others. I also thank you to your family.

How great will be if we all sign up for the donors?? My husband is a donor, my son will be a donor when he reaches the age.

Again thank you so much John Hege.

Slain Oakland officer's organs save four men
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, March 26, 2009

(03-25) 15:32 PDT OAKLAND -- Even in death, Oakland police Officer John Hege has saved four lives.

Hege, who was among four officers killed Saturday by a gunman in East Oakland, has given renewed hope to four men. One now has Hege's heart beating inside him. Two others have his kidneys and a fourth has the 41-year-old officer's liver.

Hege made it be known that if he died, he wanted to be an organ donor. Officials said Wednesday that his action had meant a second chance for the four men.

"He chose in death as he did in life to help those in need," the California Transplant Donor Network said in a statement. "We know those who are receiving his gifts thank him and his family with gratitude and a shared sense of loss at his passing."

The names of the recipients were not disclosed, but officials said all the men live in California. His father said he had been told the four live in the Bay Area.

Hege, a motorcycle officer and 10-year department veteran, renewed his driver's license last year and confirmed that he wished to donate his organs, said his father, John S. Hege of Piedmont.

That decision is bringing the family some solace, said the elder Hege, a retired physician who practiced internal medicine and rheumatology, the study of illnesses that include arthritis.

"We feel very positive about that," he said. "I think it's a personal decision for every person, and it may not be the right decision for everybody. But I think for John, it was right. It was what he wanted, and we're in agreement with that."

Officer Hege, who lived in Concord, was removed from life support at Highland Hospital in Oakland after doctors removed his organs Monday night. Hege, a former Hayward high school teacher, was single and had no children.

The other officers killed Saturday were traffic Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, of Tracy, and SWAT Sgts. Ervin Romans, 43, of Danville and Daniel Sakai, 35, of Castro Valley. Their organs were not donated, police said.

More than 21,000 people are on lists for organ transplants in California. A third of the people who need transplants die waiting, officials said. Kidneys, livers and hearts are in especially high demand.

For information about donating organs, go to
E-mail Henry K. Lee at
This article appeared on page A - 8 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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