The power of one – Joyce Roush – TED Talk video

Joyce Roush – The power of one

Uploaded on Dec 16, 2011 – TED Talk

In her 37 years as a registered nurse, Joyce has been present at over 1000 patient deaths. Having worked in the area of trauma, hospice and organ donation, Joyce knows the power of each person’s life and death. Her familiarity with the dying has inspired her to commit her life to the living. In 1998, while working a coordinator for the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization, Joyce made the decision to donate one of her own kidneys to a complete stranger, not realizing, at the time that she would be the first person in America to become a “Good Samaritan Organ Donor.”

The news of Joyce’s donation, performed at John Hopkins Medical Center traveled throughout the United States and the world. Her story was featured in People Magazine, The New York Times, and hundreds of newspapers and other magazine as well as being interviewed on such programs as the Today Show and The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. 

Joyce believed that if she had been called to share the gift of life that others would also, once they were aware that it was possible. To spread the word of her donation, she traveled throughout North America speaking at medical conferences, giving commencement speeches, and talking to thousands of people about the life-saving surgery.

Despite being called crazy, she always believed in the goodness of the human spirit. A true visionary of compassion, she foresaw a time when thousand of lives could be saved by the generosity of a stranger. She was the recipient of numerous awards including the Indiana Governor’s Award for Heroism, joint Senatorial and House of Representative Proclamations, named Transplant Coordinator of North America, carrier of the Olympic Torch, and was the 2011 Athena winner.

A decade later, altruistic kidney donation is medically accepted and common in the field of organ transplantation. For help and guidance, potential donors can turn to websites such as: http://www.matchingdonors.com, http://www.kidney.org, http://www.kidneyregistry.org

Joyce currently lives in Hendersonville, NC and is the coordinator of the Community Wellness programs at Park Ridge Health. She believes in the “Power of One,” knowing it only takes a single individual to change the world..

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