DONATE LIFE ORGAN DONATION AWARENESS-NEW YORK-ORGAN DONOR ADVOCATE HEDI NYE'S SHATTERED HIP DURING HBO DOCUMENTARY EXEMPLIFIES HER CAUSE
Source: New York Daily News
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Heidi Nye, 51, from Long Beach California broke her left hip leaning against a fence while the TV company HBO was filming a documentary on hospital care and organ donation.
An organ donor advocate who traveled to Brooklyn to be interviewed for an HBO documentary fell and shattered her hip just before her debut - and now her injury could make its way into the movie.Her big break turned into a bad break.
"It makes for more dramatic filmmaking," said Heidi Nye, 51, whose kidneys were ravaged by diabetes and is on dialysis - which is known to make bones brittle.
"This shows my own vulnerability and the vulnerability of tens of thousands of kidney patients out there."
Nye, an activist from California who wants donors to be compensated, took her tumble in Brooklyn Heights last month when she leaned on a gate as she was waiting to be filmed for the upcoming documentary, "Organ Snatchers," about the country's organ shortage.
The accident wasn't filmed. But after Nye was rushed to nearby Long Island College Hospital, the crew met with her there during her grueling two-week stay, and interviewed her from her hospital bed about her fight to change organ donor laws.
"It fortifies my resolve to continue working on these issues," said Nye, a former journalism professor who has been on painful dialysis for a year and was forced to retire.
"For anybody else, it wouldn't have broken a bone," added Nye, who underwent surgery to install a metal rod after her fall. "I had been telling the film crew how active I am as a dialysis patient."
Despite her accident, Nye said she was glad she still got a chance to make her case on film.
Nye argues that more donors would step up if they could get a government-sponsored incentive like an annual stipend, free health insurance or a tax credit.
"The thinking is that people should do this for altruism," Nye said, adding that ongoing dialysis is expensive. "But everyone else is compensated - the doctors, the insurers."
Current laws prohibit paying the donor, although their medical bills are usually covered by the recipient's insurance.
Because of the country's chronic shortage of kidney donors, there are currently 84,000 Americans on waiting lists for transplants, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.
In the meantime, Nye said she will keep fighting to change donor laws for herself and others. "I really do spend most of my life just trying to stay alive," she said.
HBO officials said "Organ Snatchers" will air sometime next year.