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'Why waste such a precious gift?': Central Georgia mothers can now donate placenta for healing

Coliseum Medical Centers has paired with the Healing Bank for placenta donations that can help heal injuries

MACON, Ga. — Like many moms, Susan Diana was excited to have her second child, but this time around, she decided to do things differently by donating her placenta. 

 "We literally agreed to it the night before I had my C-section," she said.  

 The placenta is a large organ that provides oxygen and nutrients to the baby in the womb. 

 After birth, it's usually just thrown away. Now, Coliseum Medical Centers have teamed up with a program based in Augusta, the Healing Bank. They collect donated placentas to help heal others.

 "They use those stem cells for healing, so they're going to use them for eye issues, soft tissue injuries like burns, or diabetic foot ulcers, things like that," Kari Willingham said.

 Kari Willingham, the nurse manager of women's services, explains how it works. 

 "They'll actually put the stem cells on to the injury to help promote that healing. Where a diabetic who doesn't have good circulation, that doesn't promote good healing, if we give them some stem cells on that area it's going to help heal that wound," she explained.

 Diana is a nurse and the very first donor from Coliseum Medical Centers. 

 After talking to her doctor, she decided it was an opportunity she couldn't pass up. 

 "Why waste such a precious gift that you're given? And then I thought it would be nice to tell my son when he grows up his placenta helped someone."

 Giving back after giving life, she says, is simply amazing.

 "It's amazing. I've been a part of the walks that we've done for families with donated organs, so just thinking about that -- look, I'm getting emotional now just thinking about that and being able to help someone heal is nice," she said, tearing up as she spoke.

The program is new at Coliseum. So far, 10 new mothers have donated.