Our Lady of the Angels earns ‘Workplace for Life’ award

Published 3:55 am Saturday, May 4, 2019

Our Lady of the Angels Hospital received the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency’s (LOPA) Bronze Workplace for Life Award for its efforts in spreading the message of organ, tissue and eye donation.

Since becoming Our Lady of the Angels Hospital in 2014, the hospital has had 11 eye donors who have given the gift of sight to 22 people; eight tissue donors who have enhanced the lives of 800 people, and one organ donor who saved the lives of two people.

The LOPA Flag flies outside the hospital for the month of April.

LOPA volunteer, Jessica Pussiguier shared her powerful story.

Jessica Puissegur, a young wife and mother of two, has lived and worked in the small town of Springfield all of her life. Everyone knows everyone. Her family lives steps away from one another, and her office is the elementary school right down the road. On July 13, 2018, as Jessica was preparing to teach a class full of students, she heard sirens. But she had no idea that they would signal a new life chapter filled with loss and grief. Jessica’s 28-year-old brother, Alan, had taken his own life.

“We grew up as close as siblings can be,” recalled Jessica, “but he always suffered with anxiety and depression.” She talks about her baby brother with pride. “He loved hunting and fishing, but mostly fishing. And he was an amazing father to his eight year old son, Braylon.”

When she discusses what happened that day, the details are still a bit hazy; yet she recalls clearly the moment she realized Alan could be an organ donor. It was a ray of light in the darkness. Jessica believes that Alan, who was loving and selfless, would be so proud to know that he saved the lives of four people. She pledged to hold on to the fact that Alan helped people, even in death. She finds comfort and purpose in advocating for donor awareness and mental health.