Marquette General wins statewide award for organ donation excellence

Marquette General Hospital has received an award from Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson for excellence in organ donation efforts. It’s called the Shining Star Award.

Sanaz Nezami, a native of Iran, moved to Dollar Bay last fall to pursue a graduate degree at Michigan Tech. She suffered a traumatic brain injury in December and was treated at Marquette General. Hospital staff connected with her family through video chat and built an emotional bond with them.

“The hearts of the people here are so enriched and they’re so big that it makes it easy for families to say yes to (organ and tissue) donation, because they know that somebody is taking care of them that truly cares,” MGH hospital supervisor and donation liaison Gail Brandly said.

Nezami died of her injuries four days after sustaining them, but with her family’s consent, her vital organs were transplanted into people in five different U.S. states.

“They took a really horrible situation; all came together,” Johnson said.  “All worked so hard in the most kind and warm way that you can to make sure that the family had some solace in this terrible tragedy and save the lives of seven other people.”

The Shining Star Award has existed since 2005 and this is only the second one to be awarded in the Upper Peninsula.

Nezami’s husband, Nima Nassiri, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with her death.