Organ donation gives new lease on life

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Intermountain Donor Services is reminding people about some myths when it comes to organ donation.

Alex McDonald, the director of public education, is letting people know that age doesn't matter when it comes to organ donation, saying they will recover organs from people as old as 80.

The biggest myth they see is that doctors won't try as hard to save someone’s life if they are an organ donor.

"There must have been a scary TV show or something, but that has persisted for a long time. I would really like to assure people that doctors, nurses, anybody involved in a hospital, their number one concern is to save that person's life,” McDonald explained.

McDonald also said that one organ donor can save eight lives, and that Idaho is one of the leading states with registered organ donors.

One Magic Valley man is alive today due to his organ transplant. Mitchell Pehrson was in the Marine Corps, when a training accident sent him to the hospital.

"The doctor was like, how long have you had high blood pressure? And I've never had high blood pressure,” Pehrson continued. “Because I was in Japan, they sent me over to Hawaii for testing, they did a kidney biopsy, and it came back that my kidneys were in failure. I was 21, 22, at the time, so it was a world, like a world changing event, you know."

Pehrson was flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., where someone he knew would change his life.

"I found out my brother-in-law, who was actually in the army at the time, he was in Korea, was actually being tested to be a donor. He ended up becoming such a good donor that, it was like 5 out of 6 markers were like right aligned. They thought we were almost brothers,” Pehrson explained.

Now, 13 years later and given a second chance at life, he's working to get more people aware of organ donation.

"The biggest thing I can tell people is, it's accepted in most of the religions, it's actually talked about. Have the talk with your friends and family. I started promoting organ donation through racing, cause I race out here at the speedway,” Pehrson stated.

More information on organ donation can be found at and

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