By Mike Schuh | WJZ 13
BALTIMORE (WJZ) Right now, over two million Marylanders are registered to donate their organs when they die. Sometimes, the donor's family and the recipient meet and, as Mike Schuh reports, sometimes they come together for a common cause. The blizzard in February led David Desebla to the ski slopes in western Maryland. In Essex, Michael Yater was near death from heart failure. Desebla had a skiing accident and Yater got the call to get the hospital. A heart was found that matched: Desebla's heart.
Yater's neighbors dug out his car so he could get to the hospital for what could be a life-changing operation. "In fact, when they found my son, he didn't have a heartbeat. They got it started again and donated it to someone who needed it. Amazing," said Diane Dehaven. Dehaven found herself at Druid Hill Park Saturday morning at a fundraiser for a group that coordinates organ donation. "It is a celebration of David's life," she said. Yater, the man with Desebla's heart in his chest, was there, too. "When I look at him, I don't look at him as the guy with David's heart. I look at him as a friend," Dehaven said. A friend, happy at his own good fortune but sensitive to what happened to put him here. "I can't give back to David's family what they've given to me but I can give my friendship and hopefully it will help her deal with her situation and her loss," Yater said. "People grieve in different ways and my way of grieving is to get involved," Dehaven said.
Four hundred people got involved Saturday, all of them saying thank you to someone. Yater is someone who will say thank you every day. "When you're supposed to do the thank you letters through the organization, I can't understand how anyone in words can say thank you," Yater said. In all, they raised $48,000 Saturday. You can register to become an organ donor when you get your Maryland driver's license.
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