'Wall of Hope' shows impact of organ donations

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- April is National Donate Life Month and Community Regional Medical Center unveiled a special tribute Monday to the lives affected by organ donations.

The smiling faces on the wall of hope in front of CRMC represent new life, often rising from tragedy.

"Every donor from an organ perspective can save or heal up to eight lives and each of those individuals who donate tissue can positively impact up to 75 people," said Jason Bailey of Donor Network West.

22,000 people are waiting for organs donations in California -- nearly 1,000 of them in Fresno County.

Carolyn Dickson was on the waiting list in 2016, depending on an oxygen tank to keep her alive, and she was running out of time when Maria Espinoza's death and her family's gift saved her.

Now, she spends holidays with the Espinozas.

"They care for me, like the kids, I'm their mother now," Dickson said. "I am Maria now. And that is so rewarding. We just love them to death."

German Amezcua's life changed forever in December 2007 when his family was on the way home from church. An unlicensed 15-year-old driver crashed into their SUV, knocking it into a canal and killing 9-year-old Sebastian.

German says he made a quick decision to donate his son's organs and it saved three lives.

"One person had three extra years with their loved ones and two are still with us," German Amezcua said. "I always tell people 'What wouldn't we give for three more years, one more day with our loved one that we lost?'"

You can sign up to be a donor at the DMV or at Donor Network West.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.