Calcasieu Coroner Dr.Terry Welke receives national award for org - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Calcasieu Coroner Dr.Terry Welke receives national award for organ procurement efforts

Calcasieu Coroner Dr. Terry Welke has been qualified as an expert in forensic pathology for more than 350 court cases.  And he's performed autopsies for at least 14 parishes in Louisiana.

 Yet he's receiving a national award - for something people might not expect: promoting life.

People likely think of Welke as forensic pathologist and coroner central to death investigations throughout the region.

Yet, Welke is recognized as a leader when it comes to procuring organs and tissue for donation. But he  gives credit to others, especially the families who donate their loved ones organs.

"I really don't deserve it to be honest with you. The people that are around me deserve it far more than I do," he said.

But Chief Investigator Charlie Hunter says people don't realize how deserving Welke is of  the award.

"They don't realize the time and dedication, effort that Dr.Welke has put in during the course of his 25 plus years to save countless lives with organ donation and by changing the way he does things and adapting the way he does things on a daily basis to make sure that life still goes on after death," said Hunter.

And when it comes to organ donation, Welke's saying is "Life Trumps Death Every Time."

"I feel badly that people who have died that have organs that are usable are basically wasting them.  They're very valuable to someone else," said Welke.

And he explains that usable tissue can be taken from those who weren't necessarily on life support, all the way up to when their tissues are procured.

Welke is also recognized for his efforts to reduce infant deaths through the Safe Sleep Campaign and preserving the option of organ donation in  military and inmate deaths. 

"One life or one death, you might say, can actually save about eight lives and improve or even increase other people's lives, another 50 people," said Welke.

"I realize people always think, coroners, ugh, it's always dead, but that's not true.  We take care of the dead but we care more for the living," he said.  

In fact, this man who spends so much time around death says he cherishes life to the fullest.

 "I think life is really exciting. If anybody wants my body they can have whatever they want.  IF I can do something to save somebody's life, I am going to do it," he said.

Welke urges people to act so they too can potentially give the gift of a lifetime, whether it's registering with the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency or simply designating on ones drive's license, one's wish to be a donor.  Such designation can be vetoed by family members after a person dies, so individuals who wish to donate are urged to make their wishes known to family members and/or register with LOPA. The national award is from the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations.  A ceremony will be held later this year.

  Copyright 2018 KPLC All rights reserved             

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • BREAKING

    Not something you see every day: Crews remove large swimming pools from 210 bridge

    Not something you see every day: Crews remove large swimming pools from 210 bridge

    Friday, April 20 2018 3:13 PM EDT2018-04-20 19:13:01 GMT
    An accident is causing traffic to back up in the 210 westbound lanes, from the bridge to Enterprise Boulevard. (Source: Google Maps)An accident is causing traffic to back up in the 210 westbound lanes, from the bridge to Enterprise Boulevard. (Source: Google Maps)

    Avoid the westbound lanes of 210. Accidents are blocking the lanes. Lake Charles police say there has been an accident involving 18-wheelers at the foot of the bridge. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    Avoid the westbound lanes of 210. Accidents are blocking the lanes. Lake Charles police say there has been an accident involving 18-wheelers at the foot of the bridge. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>
  • High-speed chase in Lake Charles

    High-speed chase in Lake Charles

    Friday, April 20 2018 1:19 PM EDT2018-04-20 17:19:02 GMT
    (Source: KPLC Viewer)(Source: KPLC Viewer)

    Police went on a high-speed chase down Lake Street and Prien Lake Road.  Cpl. Larry Moss has confirmed the high-speed chase but police are still investigating the situation.  Viewers have sent in footage and are reporting seeing two males who seemed to be cooperating with police and have left in custody.  KPLC and FOX29 are still following this story and will update with more information.  Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved. 

    More >>

    Police went on a high-speed chase down Lake Street and Prien Lake Road.  Cpl. Larry Moss has confirmed the high-speed chase but police are still investigating the situation.  Viewers have sent in footage and are reporting seeing two males who seemed to be cooperating with police and have left in custody.  KPLC and FOX29 are still following this story and will update with more information.  Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved. 

    More >>
  • McNeese to host free small business seminar

    McNeese to host free small business seminar

    Friday, April 20 2018 12:16 PM EDT2018-04-20 16:16:59 GMT
    McNeese will host a free seminar "Starting and Financing Your Business Idea" (Source: McNeese State University)McNeese will host a free seminar "Starting and Financing Your Business Idea" (Source: McNeese State University)
    McNeese will host a free seminar "Starting and Financing Your Business Idea" (Source: McNeese State University)McNeese will host a free seminar "Starting and Financing Your Business Idea" (Source: McNeese State University)
    McNeese State University will host a free small business seminar "Starting and Financing Your Business Idea." The seminar will be held from 2 - 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1 in the SEED Center at McNeese. Topics include entrepreneurship readiness, writing a business plan, and financing a start-up. For more information on the workshop and registration, call 337-475-5529 or visit their website. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.More >>
    McNeese State University will host a free small business seminar "Starting and Financing Your Business Idea." The seminar will be held from 2 - 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1 in the SEED Center at McNeese. Topics include entrepreneurship readiness, writing a business plan, and financing a start-up. For more information on the workshop and registration, call 337-475-5529 or visit their website. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.More >>
Powered by Frankly