CCMC, Martin honor McLain as part of Donate Life Month

Photo by Jess Mancini Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin talks about the late Doug McLain, a 41-year officer in the police department who died in 2017. McLain was remembered Wednesday during a ceremony observing Donate Life Month by WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center and Lifeline of Ohio. At far left are Betty McLain, McLain’s aunt, and Pennie McLain, McLain’s wife.

PARKERSBURG — A hero of the community was honored on Wednesday during a ceremony denoting Donate Life Month at WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center.

Doug McLain, who served 41 years with the Parkersburg Police Department and also was a paramedic for the St. Joseph’s Ambulance Service for 40 years, died in June 2017 from sudden cardiac arrest. His wife, Pennie, made the decision for her late husband to be an organ donor.

McLain had wanted to donate his body to science, like his uncle, Pennie said. Becoming an organ donor benefitted people, too, she said.

“He wanted to help other people,” Pennie said.

The main speaker at the event, held in the South Tower by the cafeteria, was Police Chief Joe Martin.

File Photo From left, Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin and Doug McLain at a party celebrating McLain’s retirement as an officer in February 2016. McLain later returned to the city as the civilian fleet maintenance coordinator.

McLain was a hero whose service positively impacted the community, according to Martin. His memory will live on through the people he helped as a donor, Martin said.

“…and continue his legacy as a hero,” Martin said.

More than 114,000 people in the United States are awaiting an organ transplant, said Kathy Warhola, regional hospital development coordinator for Lifeline of Ohio. Twenty-two people die every day while waiting, she said.

She encouraged residents to make the decision while alive. The decision can be made when getting a driver’s license or online, Warhola said.

“It’s an important thing we don’t think about until it touches us,” Warhola said.

In West Virginia, more than 475 people are awaiting an organ for a transplant, according to Lifeline. About 35 percent of West Virginians are registered organ donors, about 40 percent in Wood County.

Seventy-one people in West Virginia donated organs in 2018 that gave the gift of life to 131 people.