Long-time California nurse becomes organ donor after medical decline

Vince Ybarra Image
Friday, June 14, 2024
Valley Children's nurse donates organs after medical decline
People gathered at Community Regional Medical Center on Thursday to honor Patrice Sanders before she went into surgery to donate her organs.

FRESNO, Calif. -- A final walk to save lives: Several dozen people gathered at a Fresno, California hospital on Thursday to honor Patrice Sanders before she went into surgery to donate her organs.

"It's really touching to see all the people that she's touched and to who she meant so much to," said Paige Sanders, Patrice's sister.

Sanders was a children's hospital nurse for 36 years.

Her sister, Paige Sanders, said Patrice called her, and said she wasn't feeling well while she was at work.

After several tests, it was determined Patrice had gastroenteritis.

Paige said Patrice continued to not feel well.

When they took her to the hospital again, doctors discovered she suffered from a bilateral stroke.

Over time, Patrice's health continued to decline.

SEE ALSO: 10-year-old boy swept into storm drain being kept on life support to become an organ donor, dad says

"We had a meeting with the surgeon who told us that her probable outcome was not going to be favorable, that she would have many disabilities," Paige said.

She said Patrice made her end of life wishes clear, and the family wanted to make sure they honored those requests.

"She saw many children die at Valley's Children's during her time there as an RN. She always had a great respect for the children who donated their organs, and I think that example for her was an inspiration for her," Paige said.

Jaclyn Manzanedo, with Donor Network West, said there are over 22,000 patients just in California alone waiting for an organ transplant.

"Giving the gift of life, it seems like it was in line with what she did throughout her life. It's a beautiful way to leave that legacy that she left both in life and after her passing," Manzanedo said.

She said that she is grateful Community Regional Medical Center honors organ donors in such a touching way.

As the family continues to celebrate the life Patrice led, they say they will remember one warm feeling she always gave so freely to others -- love.

"She loved well, was well loved and is continuing to love others that she doesn't even know," Paige said.