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Showing posts from February, 2011
Organ recipient finds success recruiting donors in AscensionBy Kimberly Fortner, Contributing WriterWeekly Citizen
Illinois organ recipient Mike Greiner and his family visited Ascension Parish last week to spread the word about the importance of organ donation.

The Greiner family shared their story at a Donaldsonville Rotary Club Meeting, Ascension Catholic High School and several Benny's Car Wash locations throughout the week leading up to a Valentine's Day push for donors at the Baton Rouge Office of Motor Vehicles.

The goal, according to the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, is “to have no loss of life because of the lack of organs.” Currently, there are 110,000 waiting for life-saving organs. In Louisiana, 1,800 people on the waiting list.

Mike Greiner had diabetes and his health was failing when he got the call he and his family had been waiting for. It was like, “waiting on a phone call determining whether you are going to live or not,” explains Greiner.

In 2003, he rec…
Job seeker uses plight to encourage organ donations
Man wants work, but can’t find it because he’s on dialysis
By MELISSA HAYES/The Lufkin Daily NewsBryan Wells was born two months premature. He had his first kidney transplant at age 13, thanks to a donation from his own father. He’s now on dialysis three days a week as he waits on the Baylor Medical Center donor list for a new kidney. He’s been on that list for six years now.

Wells doesn’t want pity for his lot in life. He wants a job.

With an associate’s degree in Christian Studies and a bachelor’s degree in counseling, Wells said finding a job in Lufkin has been challenging.

“Three days a week I have my dialysis, and then I go home and look through the paper to find a job and just be a normal person like everyone else,” Wells said. “(During job interviews) everything is going great until I say I’m on dialysis, and then they say they’ll call me back and they never do. One guy told me I was a liability because of the dialysis. It’s no…
Greetings Friends in Community Health,

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing on behalf of the Building Bridges to Optimum Health work group to invite you to the 5th annual World Kidney Day Community Conference, to be held on March 10th 2011 at the Loker Auditorium at the California Science Center 700 State Drive, Los Angeles Ca, 90037 Entrance at 39th Street & Figueroa Street.

This is a free conference which aims to share information about prevention and treatment of kidney disease with community members, patients and health care professionals, students and researchers. A continental breakfast and lunch will be served.

This year’s conference will include presentations on: “Risks and Management of Kidney Disease: What labs do you get, where do you go, what do you do?,” “A Holistic and Multidisciplinary Approach to Managing Stress Associated with Chronic Disease,” and “A question and answer panel dis…
NNY man awaits heart
DISAPPOINTMENT: First organ available rejected by doctorsBy REBECCA MADDEN | Watertown Daily Times

John W. Pierce Sr., 53, went into the operating room Feb. 17 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester expecting to have a new heart when he woke up.

The Belleville resident said he didn't know how long he was under anesthesia before someone from the medical staff woke him up and told him the last thing he expected to hear.

"A guy with the mask and glasses said they rejected the heart, that it wouldn't have worked for me, and wasn't what we thought it'd be," Mr. Pierce said via telephone Friday. "They took me back to my room, and here I sit."

He has called Strong Memorial Hospital home for the past month, and he's now on its heart-transplant waiting list along with 29 others.


Cardiologist Leway Chen said while most patients wait several months or longer for new organs, Mr. Pierce's "other heart&qu…
Teen becomes 1,000th organ transplant patient at OSF
With a kidney donated from his mother, Max Rutschke returns to being a regular teenagerBy CATHARINE SCHAIDLE ( Star

If your life appears to have fallen into a routine and you yearn for excitement, have a word with Jean Rutschke about a "normal" life.

Until about a month ago, her normal life was turned upside down when her 13-year-old son's health began failing, and it became clear that he needed a kidney transplant. Her life as wife, mother of three and pharmacist for OSF Home Infusion reached the other end of the normal spectrum.

Today, her son, Max Rutschke, is taking trumpet lessons and has auditioned for his school play. In other words, he is involved with activities that his peers at St. Thomas School are also engaged in.

When Max's health began deteriorating in September, he began to lose weight and his appetite diminished.

"We hadn't any idea he was losing kidney function,…
Organ donation 'a silver lining'By ANNETTE FULLER  | Winston Salem JournalCredit: Journal Photo by Bruce Chapman
When his wife collapsed suddenly, just hours after complaining about a migraine, Kevin Reece of Elkin drove to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center behind his wife's ambulance.

But on that day, May 25, 2010, she suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage, and there he was, looking at his 33-year-old wife's brain-dead body.

He knew she had a heart symbol on her driver's license, indicating that she wanted to donate her organs, and she also had spoken to him about those wishes.

"When I spoke to the neurosurgeon about organ donation, it was like I was outside of my body, looking at myself talking," Reece said.

Within minutes, a coordinator from Carolina Donor Services was dispatched to the hospital and helped Reece through the donation process. His wife was hooked up to medical equipment to keep her organs healthy until the eager, matching donors c…
Transplant gives Pike teen new heart, hopeful startBy Ernest Herndon, Enterprise-Journal
Jessica Harris has a heart.

The 17-year-old McComb girl who desperately needed a transplant but lacked insurance received a new heart Friday during a 10-hour surgery at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York, according to her mother, Hazel Harris.

“The expected outcome is that she will live a full life,” Mrs. Harris said in a telephone interview Saturday evening. “I’m elated.”

Jessica was still under sedation and not fully conscious Saturday evening, but she was showing signs of awareness, and doctors considered her condition stable.

Jessica was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and had four heart surgeries before the transplant. Her condition worsened last year, and doctors said the only hope was a transplant. But she wasn’t covered under her father’s employee health insurance because her condition was pre-existing.

The new national health care plan sponsored by President Obama did…
Organ donation: the gift of life
DELLARAM JAMALI | The Courier, Australia
A GIFT is defined as something given voluntarily without payment in return.

So when Angela Smith and her family decided to donate their mother's organs after her passing last year, they had no expectations.

But this didn't stop the rewards from flowing in.

For the Scarsdale resident, the decision to donate was the most meaningful and rewarding experience of her life.

Her mother's kidneys and liver were used for three organ transplants, saving the lives of three different people.

"She hadn't registered as an organ donor but we had talked to her about it," Ms Smith said.

"It's (organ donation) a gift you cannot purchase. You can't win it in a raffle. I certainly know if it was me and I was waiting for an organ, I'd take it.

"We've never second guessed the decision and I know with her being the giving person she was, she would have said yes."

At a time of utmos…
Ambassadors champion a life-changing cause
DELLARAM JAMALI | The Courrier, Australia
FOUR prominent Australians were last week appointed to promote the gift of life as the country's DonateLife Ambassadors.

Ballarat MP Catherine King, who is the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, announced Amanda Keller, Denise Drysdale, Derryn Hinch and Tania Major as promoters of organ and tissue donation in Australia.

The four will join Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC who was announced as the inaugural DonateLife ambassador at the national launch of DonateLife Week.

"It's something we thought would be helpful in promoting the cause of organ donation," Ms King said.

"These people have been directly affected by the issue and it is something they have spoken about and expressed interest in before."

Ms King said the "high profile" people could expand on the community's knowledge and understanding of organ donation and encourage family discussion of…
Birthday brings both hope and uncertainty for transplant patient
Source: The Transplant Network 

When he takes the Great Basin Brewing Company stage for a special Sat., March 5, 2011 show that falls on his 49th birthday, singer-songwriter and transplant patient Brother Dan Palmer will naturally reflect on the dichotomy of two prevailing themes in his life: hope and uncertainty, a precarious, dare-to-dream way of living.

Almost two years after liver failure led to three near-death episodes — followed by three miraculous revivals — the former northern Nevadan is embracing the idea of picking up where he left off. While Palmer joyfully reclaims his life, health, love and music, it’s a razor’s-edge of simultaneously reckoning with the fact that his health can take a dramatic downward spiral, a life-and-death scenario that, ironically, would abruptly move his number up on the national transplant waiting list.

Writing, recording and performing are Palmer’s lifeblood — and a healing force th…
Thanks to Heidelberg's Austin Hospital for the gift of lifeSource: Heidelberg Leader
MICHAEL Knight is living proof a stranger can give the greatest gift: a second chance at life.

The 59-year-old’s time was almost up before he had a lifesaving liver transplant at Heidelberg’s Austin Hospital.

“I was diagnosed with liver disease in 1993, and was put on the transplant waiting list in 2005 at the hospital,” the Chirnside Park resident said. “I am thankful every day that someone decided to be an organ donor because they gave me the gift to live.”

Mr Knight said it was a “wonderful moment” when he received the phonecall that he would get the transplant. “If someone hadn’t been brave enough to give me that gift, I would have been dead in a matter of weeks,” he said.

“If I didn’t get my new liver, my wife would be left without a husband, my kids wouldn’t have a father and I wouldn’t have had the good years I’ve had since the operation.”

To give back to those who helped save his life, Mr K…
"THE FIFTH QUARTER"  Based on the Inspiring True Story opens March 25th

In February 2006, young Luke Abbate accepted a ride home from a fellow student following his high-school team practice. In a severe case of irresponsible and reckless teen-age driving, and over the objections of Luke and the other young passengers, the driver lost control of the car at nearly 90 miles per-hour, spinning off a narrow road and landing in an embankment some seventy feet below. Luke suffered irreparable brain damage, and died in the hospital two days later – just four days before
his sixteenth birthday.

While in the hospital, the Abbate family made the difficult decision to permit the doctors to utilize Luke’s organs in a nationwide organ transplant program.  Five recipients were almost immediately identified, including a young mother who was suffering with serious heart disease. Sharing an uncommon blood type, Luke’s heart was flown to the young woman’s hospital location across the country, …
Mayor-Elect Rahm’s High-Profile Brothers

Rich Daley suffered his share of controversial stories about his brothers Bill and John, but they were not nearly as dramatic as what awaits us with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Last night on WIND’s Mike Gallagher Show, the conservative host was in full outrage mode over a story in that day’s Washington Post titled “Under kidney transplant proposal, younger patients would get the best organs.” The Post’s Rob Stein wrote, “Instead of giving priority primarily to patients who have been on the waiting list longest, the new rules would match recipients and organs to a greater extent based on factors such as age and health to try to maximize the number of years provided by each kidney—the most sought-after organ for transplants.”
Rahm’s older brother, Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel, MD, Ph.D, seems to have had nothing to do with the proposal, although he does hold some controversial beliefs about directing limited resources to thos…
Transplant recipient gives thanksBy:Casey J. Bortnick | YNN  Rochester | Your News Now | Healthy Living

Organizations across the country are reminding people to give the gift of life. There are currently more than 100,000 people in the U.S. waiting for a life-saving transplant and 8,000 of them are in New York. That's why a local college student is trying to inspire people to become organ donors this holiday season.

"I just have to be involved," said Lauren Aggen, 20.

From designing and repairing costumes to performing on stage.

"I love it. I would do it every single day of my life if I could," Aggen said.

Aggen always seemed destined for the theater. She has a natural flare for the dramatics and she’s determined.

"I'm very driven," said Aggen.

It’s a quality she picked up from her parents in suburban Chicago.

"They taught me never use my medical condition as an excuse. And I think that's really important in life," Aggen said.

Aggen …
Heart patient approaches 25th anniversary of his transplant, Iowa City, IowaByCindy Hadish/SourceMedia Group News
IOWA CITY — Andrew Hinze won’t get another heart.

With his health deteriorating as he approaches a transplant milestone, however, the 50-year-old Oelwein man is grateful for the second chance at life his second heart has given him.

“I’ve had all the joys and all the heartaches and everything that goes along with a regular life,” said Hinze, who is twice-divorced and the grandfather of two. “I was probably weeks from dying when I got the transplant, so everything (since then) has been gravy.”

Hinze, the second patient to receive a heart at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, will mark the 25th anniversary of his transplant on Tuesday, March 1. He is the longest living Iowan with an in-state heart transplant.

Since the program’s inception in 1985, 275 patients have undergone the surgery at the hospital. Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines had 87 heart transplants before …
The greatest giftGemima Harvey| Coffs Coast News | Australia
DONATELIFE WEEK has been raising the profile of organ donation this week and Coffs Harbour is a leading rural hospital in donor numbers.
Organ and tissue donation specialist on the Mid North Coast, Anne Judd, said we needed to get the message out there and change perceptions so organ donation was not a taboo subject.

“We tend to keep it all in our heads and don’t share the fact we want to be organ donors and because most organ donors die suddenly, if the topic hasn’t been raised, families can be reluctant when asked if they would like to donate their loved one’s organs,” Ms Judd said.

“Only 56 per cent of families say yes because the subject had never been discussed.

“Conversely, families who talked about it feel they are upholding the wishes of their family member and it brings some positivity to a tragic time.”

She said strong progress was made in NSW last year with donors increasing 26 per cent from 2009.

One donor can sav…
Pastry Shop Owner Needs Gift Of Life, Columbia South Carolina
Written byNate Stewart | WLTX, Columbia SC

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Customers are showing their support for a pastry shop owner who needs a kidney.

Frank Toth owns the Pastry Place on Fort Jackson Boulevard. Toth says he loves his job. "It's like an actor who loves to do money and they say they can't believe they get paid for it," Toth says.

Toth and his wife Sharon started Pastry Place together .  "You have a lot of time to do the things that you wanna do."

But with each passing minute, the time they spend with each other is spread thin, after doctors told Frank he had a serious medical problem. "I need a kidney, very urgently."  Frank has been on dialysis for two and a half years; if he were to stop, he'd only have 48 hours to live.  "Sometimes I sit there just my wife and I just bawling, because we know what a struggle it's been to get to this point."

Sharon says they&#…
A registered organ donor can help up to 8 people
Caroline Rash | Anderson Independent Mail
Christina-Taylor Green, the 9-year-old girl killed in the recent Tucson, Ariz., shootings, saved the life of a little girl in Boston and the eyesight of two other children because of her parents’ decision to donate their daughter’s organs.Roxanna and John Green said that knowing their daughter could help improve others’ lives brought some comfort in their time of grief, and they have begun encouraging other families to discuss organ donation before grieving family members face the decision.Nicole Burdette of Anderson had to make the same tough decision when her husband Alex, a state trooper, was killed while helping a stranded motorist on S.C. 81 South, near where that road intersects with Hayes Road in southern Anderson County, in March 2005. Twelve hours after he arrived at the hospital, he was pronounced brain dead, and Nicole had to decide whether or not to donate his organs. Since Alex had a…