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A University of California at San Francisco medical student who was killed at a South of Market nightclub earlier this month has saved lives as an organ donor, San Francisco General Hospital officials said today.
Joe Hernandez, 30, was found unconscious on the floor of the Temple nightclub on Howard Street early the morning of Jan. 9.
He had apparently been hit in the head with an object. Doctors were unable to save him, and he was put on life support for several days until his organs could be donated.
Hernandez had made clear to his family that he would be willing to be an organ donor, hospital officials said.
“Joe was very healthy and wanted to save lives even in death. It was something that was important to him,” his family said in a statement released by the hospital today.
Hernandez, a fourth-year medical student at UCSF, had recently trained at San Francisco General Hospital.
The family requested that the specific details of the organ donations be kept private but were glad to be able to raise awareness about the importance of being a donor, hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said.
Last year, 10 San Francisco General patients donated a total of 48 organs, hospital officials said.
Cathy Olmo, manager of community development at the California Transplant Donor Network, said one organ donor can save up to eight lives.
“Some people in need have been waiting for years; unfortunately some cannot survive a long wait,” she said. “For each of them, donation means another chance at life.”
No arrests have been made in Hernandez’s murder, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said today.
Another man, age 26, suffered minor injuries in the same fight in which Hernandez was killed, police said.
About 20 minutes after that fight, a second fight broke out outside the club in which two men were stabbed with broken bottles. Both survived their injuries.
Since then, the club has added security measures including more security cameras and the installation of ID scanners.
The club has also been banned from serving bottled beer on Friday and Saturday nights, and is required to administer pat-downs on all patrons entering the venue, said Jocelyn Kane, executive director of the Entertainment Commission.