New Yorkers, Follow This Selfless Officer’s Example
By Leonard Achan
LiveOnNY President & CEO
NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora was acutely aware of both the fragility and value of human life. In fulfilling his duty to protect and serve others, he readily accepted the danger of putting his own life on the line. Tragically, he and his partner lost their lives while fulfilling that duty. Amid their grief, Mora’s family, knowing his love for his city and life, donated all of his organs so that others could have a second chance. Five people suffering from end-stage organ failure now have the bright prospect of long, healthy lives thanks to the gifts of his heart, liver, pancreas and both kidneys.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell declared Mora, “three times a hero” — for his service, for his ultimate sacrifice in the defense of others, and for saving five lives even in death.
But because of this final act of generosity, Mora will live on as a hero in a fourth way: as an inspiration for New Yorkers to become organ donors by registering or checking the box on their driver’s license renewals.
Anyone can be an organ donor hero. All it requires is a desire to be compassionate, to want to “live on” through helping others in the most meaningful way possible.
The myths of organ donation have started to fade away and New Yorkers are saving more lives than ever. Last year, more than 1,000 organs were transplanted thanks to the selfless acts of organ donors in the greater New York area — a record — but the urgency remains, and the work is far from done. As of Sunday, 8,732 New Yorkers statewide — 131 of whom are children under the age of 18 — were waiting for a lifesaving transplant, according to United Network for Organ Sharing. Nationwide, waitlisted patients would nearly fill two Yankee Stadiums.
Donors of every religion, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status have the opportunity to end the waitlist in New York and across the nation.
This article first ran in the New York Daily News on February 1, 2022.