JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — April is Organ Donor Month, and the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville just completed its 3,000th liver transplant.
The program started back in 1998. The Mayo Clinic Jacksonville is the seventh center to reach the milestone out of about 120 in the nation.
In some places, including California and New York, a patient can wait three years for a liver transplant. Wait times for a liver in Florida are significantly shorter. The wait time is about three months at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville.
"It's the greatest gift you can give to anybody," said Dr. Burcin Taner, chair of the Mayo Clinic Florida's transplant program.
The three Mayo Clinic campuses have transplanted more organs than any other institution in the country.
"Our program doesn't just serve the Jacksonville, Florida, area, but we serve the whole nation," Taner said.
Dr. Taner said the transplant surgery is complex, and sometimes lasting 4 to 6 hours.
“They go to the operating room very sick, then they wake up much, much different,” Taner said.
Anyone wishing to sign up for organ donation can visit the Mayo Clinic's website.
Cox Media Group