Trooper who died after chase saluted for donating organs

Louisiana

A photo provided by the Louisiana State Police shows Trooper George Baker, 33, who died Sunday, May 24, 2020, days after he was struck by another law enforcement vehicle as he aided in a pursuit of two suspects. (Louisiana State Police via AP)

HAMMOND, La. (AP) — Louisiana State Police are calling Trooper George Baker’s decision to donate his organs a “last act of selfless service.”

Baker died Sunday from injuries he suffered Wednesday when hit by a Hammond police officer during a vehicle pursuit. The 33-year-old trooper’s body was taken from North Oaks Medical Center so his organs could be donated, escorted by a caravan of state police cars.

“It’s very rare to have the opportunity, and that’s why we try to maximize each gift and support each family through the donation process in hopes that their loved one can leave that legacy,” said Kirsten Heintz, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency tells WWL-TV.

More than 112,000 people across the country are waiting for donations. More than 2,000 of those are in Louisiana.

“One donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation,” Heintz said. “But they can also help 50 or more through tissue and cornea donation.”

The process of organ donation is rare for a reason.

“You have to sustain a brain injury and die in a certain way in a hospital on a ventilator to be able to be a donor,” Heintz said.

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