The Post Star | Meg Hagerty
Queensbury resident Bill Chenier drives home the need for organ donation with the bumper sticker on his car that reads, "Don't take your organs to heaven ... Heaven knows we need them here!"
Chenier, 60, successfully received a new heart and kidney following surgery at Tufts University Medical Center on Aug. 1, after a lifelong battle with health problems.
Chenier was born with an atrial septal defect, in which the wall that separates the upper chambers of the heart doesn't fully close, a congenital heart condition that also affected his brother and son. Both family members died from staph infections associated with the defect.
Chenier, a professional chef, has had numerous operations, including open heart surgery when he was 16. In 1993, he developed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which his heart muscle thickened and caused his heart to work harder to pump blood.
Nine years ago he had a bi-ventricular pacer put in his chest after several bouts of atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat. Last November, however, Chenier developed congestive heart failure and was told a transplant was his only chance of survival.
Read more: http://poststar.com/transplant-beneficiary-becomes-advocate-for-donation/article_614827d8-f79f-11e0-9adc-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1ayIUCVrD