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Showing posts from November, 2014

Gilbert man finds second chance after lung transplant

East Valley Tribune | By Eric Mungenast

Gilbert resident Jim Seaton, pictured with his mother Cressie Wiest, received a lung transplant in 2013. [Submitted photo]

Gilbert resident Jim Seaton can’t help but be thankful for his second chance for life, as it was a little more than a year ago when simply breathing was a labored pursuit.

It’s one reason why the 65-year-old grandfather has done as much as he can with whatever time he has left.

“It would be disrespectful to the donor to not do what I could for that,” he said.

The circumstances behind Seaton’s second coming really begin with a life in which he exacerbated the risk for lung problems. He spent many years smoking, worked on a train that sprayed crops with DDT — a banned pesticide linked to a wide array of health problems — and was exposed to a number of chemicals while serving in Vietnam.

Health problems aren’t inevitable even with those circumstances, but they did hit Seaton pretty hard beginning in 2010. That’s when Seaton first dev…

The Best Christmas Lights in and Around Philadelphia

Philly Magazine
Lovely Christmas Lights 2 Patricia Drive, Gilbertsville
The story — a heartbreaker involving an organ transplant that saved his wife’s life — is the stuff of Christmas miracles. So Ken Lovely honors the occasion by creating the happiest thing he can, a Disney-quality holiday light show that he’s been running since 2008. This year’s theme is Frozen, so expect the lights lining his roof, draping his trees and twirled on his lawn to flash in synch with “Let it Go.” The show runs every 15 minutes. Free; donations go to Help Hope Live.

Go here for: The stats: 40,000 lights, 3,500 feet of extension cords, one regular dad who seriously loves Christmas.
You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Organ Donor | Donate Life America
...and have a conversation with your family.

Procedure lets father give son new lease of life

AsiaOne | The Straits Times - By Kash Cheong

Polytechnic student Mohamed Zarif Maarof was 18 when he found out he had kidney disease. That was in 2012.

"I was shocked, I used to run and play football so I thought I was healthy," he said.

The teenager had to give up evening outings with friends so he could be home by 8pm for his daily dialysis sessions.

His sleep was often disrupted because he had to attach a tube to his stomach to allow for water dialysis throughout the night.

His father, Mr Mohamed Maarof Ghani, a supermarket branch manager, said: "It was no way for a teenager to live. He still has a bright future." Continue reading
You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Organ Donor | Donate Life America
...and have a conversation with your family.

Parents Donate Heart Of Son Who Died After 3-Story Fall

CBS LOCAL Los Angeles | Art Barron
A mother and father donated the heart of their 3-year-old son who died from a three-story fall in Rancho Cucamonga last week. CBS2's Art Barron reports.
You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Organ Donor | Donate Life America
...and have a conversation with your family.

Tri-state kidney swap saves 3 lives, including W-B man

Citizens Voice | BOB KALINOWSKI

WARREN RUDA / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Kevin and Karen Vanwhy of Wilkes-Barre were involved in a three-way kidney exchange in which Kevin received a kidney from a 24-year-old female in Toledo.

WILKES-BARRE — Kevin Vanwhy needed a new kidney and time was running out.

The Wilkes-Barre man’s wife was willing to donate one, but her blood type wasn’t a match.

A young woman nearing death in Atlanta, Georgia, also had a willing donor. But the donor wasn’t compatible either. Two people in Toledo, Ohio, faced the same scenario.

On Oct. 2, the groups participated in a three-way kidney swap organized by the United Network for Organ Sharing, which helps link organ donors and recipients around the country.

Vanwhy, who has battled diabetes for years, got a kidney from a 24-year-old female in Toledo. His wife’s kidney went to the critically ill young female in Atlanta. The Atlanta donor’s kidney ended up with a patient in Toledo.

Three selfless donors. Three lives saved. Three gro…

'I feel like 100 percent': New lungs mean new outlook for cystic fibrosis patient

M Live | Sue Thomas

Jamie Purchase, right, of Vestaburg, talks with P.A. Shannon Jansma during a weekly checkup at Meijer Heart Center as her husband Brad Purchase, left, sits by on Thursday, November 20, 2014. Purchase, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 2 weeks old, just recently underwent a double lung transplant. (Emily Rose Bennett | Emily Rose Bennett

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Jamie Purchase was in middle school when she found out she was expected to die from cystic fibrosis before she turned 18.

Now 32, she is taking deep breaths and looking ahead with the hope of living many more years - thanks to a pair of donor lungs.

Having new lungs means she can go camping again with her husband, Brad, and their 10-year-old son, Colton, in their favorite spot in Silver Lake Sand Dunes. She hopes to take classes to further her skill as a photographer.

But, mostly, she is thrilled with the changes in day-to-day life since she underwent transplant surgery Sept. 6 at Spectrum Health.


Boy, 8, remembered for generosity as organs donated

Greenville | Tonya Maxwell

Christian Lopez was 8 years old. (Photo: Provided)

The heart of an 8-year-old Conestee boy will likely beat in another child's chest after an evening that began with a Thanksgiving dinner and ended with a fatal car accident.

Christian Lopez, a first grader at Blythe Academy of Languages, died on Thanksgiving Day after being struck by a car Tuesday night as he left a church celebration with his family. He had been airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital.

His grandparents, who are also his guardians, opted to donate his organs, a decision that many who knew Christian said is a fitting legacy for a child who found joy in giving what he had to offer, despite having a rough start in his young life.

Earlier this year, he had moved to Conestee from Knoxville along with his three siblings and grandparents, who have long had custody of the children, said Cheryl Ridge, their grandmother. Continue reading


ABC NEWS | Lyanne Melendez

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- A year ago, Dewanda Joseph of Richmond donated one of her kidneys to her nephew. She turned out to be a perfect match. One year later, they are celebrating Thanksgiving together and have much to say about the operation that brought them closer together.

Taiwan Walker missed out on Thanksgiving dinner last year. That's because he and his aunt Dawanda Joseph were in the hospital recovering from a kidney transplant operation. She was the donor and he, the recipient.

One year later and surrounded by family, Walker says life is so much better.

"Even when I'm not smiling, I'm happy inside because I'm born again," Walker said. "It's like my second birthday, I'm swimming and I'm walking."

Walker suffered from high blood pressure which damaged his kidneys. He had to undergo dialysis three times a week. Continue reading
You have the power t…

Chloe Beaney: Cramlington teenager is saved after having a successful heart transplant

Chronicle Live | Helen Rae

Chloe Beaney, 14, waits for treatment at the Freeman Hospital
On Thursday afternoon Chloe Beaney, from Cramlington, underwent a life-saving heart transplant at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital
Seriously ill teenager Chloe Beaney’s prayers have been answered as she has got a new heart.

It has been a race against time to save the 14-year-old as she was in desperate need of a transplant and medics feared she may only have weeks, if not days, to live.

Yesterday morning Chloe and her family were given the news that a suitable heart had become available and the youngster underwent the life-saving operation within hours.

Today mum Catriona Wilkinson, of Cramlington, Northumberland, told of her relief that her daughter has been given a second chance of life.

The 32-year-old nurse said: “It has been an emotional roller coaster and the heart has come at the right time for our Chloe. Our prayers have been answered and we cannot thank the donor family enough for what they have…

The Gift: Denver Attorney Donates Kidney To Stranger


David Rochlin (credit: CBS)
DENVER (CBS4) - Each night at the dinner table growing up, David Rochlin’s parents would ask him, “What did you do for other people today?” instead of more traditional inquiries about his day or schooling. Now, at age 62, he has an answer for that question after performing one of the most altruistic acts imaginable.

On Sept. 30, David voluntarily had his left kidney surgically removed to give to an anonymous stranger.

“It was my first experience with surgery,” he said, “my first experience staying overnight in a hospital.”

Most organ donors give to a family member or close friend, who they have witnessed suffering from kidney failure. But what makes David’s gift so extraordinary, he has no idea who received his kidney.

The surgery was the culmination of months of testing and planning to make sure he was a suitable donor. He also had to arrange time away from his work as an attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency.

The actual decision…

Living Kidney Donors Can Help Ease Widening Gap

Indiana Public Media | Sarah Fentem

Photo: North Dakota National Guard. There are more people waiting for kidney transplants than any other organ transplants combined.
As the demand for donor kidneys increases, doctors say live donors could play a key role in saving lives.
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, more than 100,000 patients are currently waiting for a kidney transplant.

But, there’s only about a 16 percent chance they’ll receive one this year. According to Tim Taber, a nephrologist at IU Health, that means more and more people added to the waiting list as time goes on.

“Ten people get on the list a day,” he said. “And, 18 people are added to the list a day. So, the list gets bigger, and bigger and bigger.”

There are many more people waiting for kidney transplants than waiting for any other organ transplants combined. Taber says that’s not necessarily because of a high instance of kidney disease. Those with kidney problems can stay alive much longer than those with…

Leslie Bailey: My friend died waiting for a heart

IndyStar | Leslie Bailey

Todd Shrider styled Leslie Bailey's hair during a September 2012 photo shoot for The Star. (Photo: Michelle Pemberton/The Star)

Dear Todd,

You wanted me to write a story about you, and I said that I would. I wasn't sure how to approach it, though, because the truth is lots of people need new hearts. "What makes him so special?" people would ask.

I would gladly tell them about what a loyal friend you were. I would share with pride your passion for styling hair and how when people left your chair, they felt as good on the inside as they did on the outside (minus the one time you convinced me I should do a braided up-do, that was a disaster).

I would explain how your eyes lit up when talking about a new Mid-Century modern furniture score or your next artistic endeavor. I would describe your razor-sharp sense of humor, which, might I add, you maintained while lying flat on your back in a hospital bed with a balloon pumping your heart. You were trying…

Couple brought together by heart transplants at Strong

Democrat and Chronicle | Sarah Taddeo

Esther FitzRandolph and Dan Pszczolkowski walk past their loved ones following their commitment ceremony in the Interfaith Chapel at Strong Hospital on Saturday. (Photo: LAUREN PETRACCA/@LaurenPetracca/ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

FitzRandolph and Pszczolkowski lost their biological hearts in Strong hospital rooms eight months apart, but on Saturday they pledged their lives to each other in a hospital commitment ceremony — Strong Hospital's first such ceremony between two heart transplant patients.

The two met while FitzRandolph was back in the hospital in January 2011 for transplant complications. Her friend John, who was also waiting for a heart, said he had someone for her to meet.

"There was such a connection from the moment I met Dan," she said. "We thought about things the same way."

Pszczolkowski, whose health was deteriorating as he waited for a heart, wasn't so sure about matchmaking at his age.

"I didn't know how…

Kidney transplant patients participate in 4th National Transplant Games

DNA India

Recognise the sporting achievements of organ donors and transplant patients, requests Mumbai-based Narmada Kidney Foundation (NKF), an NGO working for patients of kidney ailments. According to NKF, the winners of this year's National Transplant Games (NTG), which was held in Goregaon on Saturday, will participate in the World Transplant Games (WTG) in Argentina in August 2015.

The foundation has approached the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare & Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Dr Bharat Shah, founder of NKF said: "Special olympics and paralympics are gaining global acceptance and encouragement from the sporting authorities. We have requested the ministry to accept the proposal."

As per estimates, about 4 lakh people are diagnosed with kidney failure annually. However, the number of kidney donors is very less. Thus, the gap between the increasing number of patients and the limited number of donors, has been widening year on year. Continue reading

Families gather in Yelm to celebrate 20-year connection from double-lung transplant


Wohlers receives a hug during Friday’s party with family, friends and fellow transplant survivors in Yelm. TONY OVERMAN — Staff photographer

When Lyn Gryske met Kevin Wohlers, the recipient of her son Steven’s donated lungs, she asked whether she could touch his chest.

“I just wanted to feel the lungs go up and down,” Gryske recalled on Friday afternoon, blinking away tears.

Nineteen years ago, Gryske, and her husband, Harry, of Green Lake, Wisconsin, saw a television news story about Wohlers, a Seattle marathon runner who had received a double-lung transplant about 13 months earlier.

They said they knew in their hearts that Wohlers was the recipient of their late son’s lungs. After confirming it through letters, they decided to meet each other in person.

The connection was instant, powerful and real.

“They feel like family,” said Wohlers, 55, of Bellevue. “I have his lungs keeping me alive. Their family’s blood circulates through me. They’re family.” Continu…

Racer Joey Gase Highlights Black Hawks Organ Donor Awareness Night

Junior Hockey | Tim Harwood
Hawks Get Into Fast Lane

Waterloo, Iowa-The Cedar Valley's favorite hockey club will team up with eastern Iowa's fastest stock car driver on December 12th in support of organ and tissue donation, the Waterloo Black Hawks announced on Friday.

Cedar Rapids-native Joey Gase, driver of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Donate Life #52 car, will be on hand with his race car when the Hawks host the Sioux City Musketeers next month. In coordination with the Iowa Donor Network, it will be Waterloo's second annual Organ Donor Awareness Night.

"Approximately half of all Iowans are registered as organ and tissue donors, but that means there are still many who can sign up to potentially help the hundreds of people here in the state currently on a transplant waiting list," said Black Hawks Vice President Mike Falk. "As an organization, we are so thankful for organ donors because without their act of kindness, there are friends and fans we would not…

Holidays hard for organ donor families

Zanesville Times Recorder | Kate Snyder

Carol Padden hangs an ornament on a tree at Good Samaritan Hospital in honor of her husband, Bill Padden. He received a liver transplant nearly 23 years ago, and the couple attended an event for local organ donor families and recipients to share their stories. (Photo: Kate Snyder/Times Recorder)

ZANESVILLE – Bill Padden’s anniversary is coming up — this January will be 23 years with his new liver. That’s 23 more Thanksgivings, Christmases and New Years than he was projected to have.

“I couldn’t imagine missing out,” he said.

But the holidays can be a lot tougher for the families on the other side of the story. Most of the time, a successful transplant means that while someone lived, someone else had to die. And if someone doesn’t, a patient dies waiting.

“You have to remember that our best day is someone else’s worst day,” Padden said.

Good Samaritan Hospital hosted an event recently for local people who have been affected in some way by organ donati…

Organ transplants connect families Donations save two lives during 10-year journey


Janice MacKinnon with photos of her family and the Millard family in her home on Monday, November 24, 2014. The photo on the left is of Kalem Millard with his sisters Kalsey, left, and Koko shortly before he died and his family donated an organ that was received by Janice's son. Now almost ten years latter Janice was able to return the favor by donating a Kalem's father. Photo on the right is of both families together. The box is full of keepsakes that Janice has collected from the two families relationship over the years. (SCOTT MANCHESTER/ARGUS-COURIER STAFF)

Call it kismet, call it serendipity — whatever “it” is, the MacKinnon family has it in spades.

Theirs is a story so compelling, it captured the attention of national media. It’s a story that Janice MacKinnon has told over and over, bringing tears to her eyes every time.

She first noticed something wasn’t right with her son Jake when, at 5 years old, he would drink gallon…

Ohio organ donor gives life to three

Choshocton Tribune | Jona Ison

Russ Guthrie, seated center, is seen in this family photo taken at a 2012 reunion in Jamestown. (Photo: Submitted photo)

Fates collide

On June 27, 2003, Sue Murphy heard the phone ring about 1 a.m.

Thinking it was a prank caller, she ignored the call, but she answered when a second set of rings followed. It was the Reynoldsburg Police Department — her and her husband Mike's only child, Jason, had been in a serious car crash.

"When we got down to Grant (Medical Center in Columbus), they said he had a traumatic brain injury, and you could tell there just wasn't anything there," Sue said.

The hospital filled with friends of Jason, many of whom also has been students of his parents at Reynoldsburg High School. After a battery of tests, doctors declared Jason brain-dead two days later, ending dreams of finishing a sport management degree and owning a golf course.

Meanwhile, about 5 miles away, Guthrie was at Ohio State University's Wexner Medi…

Baby Ivan's early Christmas gift


UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. A mother's gives her ill son her liver in Taiwan. Photo courtesy of Facebook/Jojo Dass
Ivan, an infant wtih a rare liver disease, celebrates his first birthday on November 29 with a new organ donated to him by his mother
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Call it a mom’s unconditional love.

If all goes well, an infant with a rare liver disease will be celebrating his first birthday on November 29 with a new organ donated to him as a gift by his mother, Fatima “Fatz” Reverente Burlaos.

Baby Ivan underwent a 12-hour liver transplant procedure at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan on November 6. His mother had an 8-hour operation where doctors took a portion of her liver to replace Ivan’s, which has failed to function as a result of his ailment, biliary atresia, caused by the absence or obstruction of the bile duct between the liver and the small intestine.

“The survival rate and success of the transplant are better if the donor is of the same blood type and …

Organ donation reward for the ultimate gift of life

Biggleswade Today | Luke Gardener

John Watts on the day of his graduation from Aberdeen University

A man from Sandy who gave the ultimate gift of life through organ donation has been honoured posthumously at an award ceremony.

Philip Watts received the award on behalf of his late son John Watts who tragically died as he approached his 30th birthday after suffering an 
epileptic fit and falling down the stairs.

The Order of St John award for Organ Donation, run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant, was presented to the families and loved ones of those who saved and improved people’s lives through organ donation.

The private award ceremony was held at Central Bedfordshire Council Chamber, with the awards presented by Helen Nellis, HM Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire.

Philip said: “It was a great recognition of what John did. It was always his intention to help others and by donating his organs he has been able to do this.” Continue reading

30 Years Later, Connecticut's Longest Surviving Heart Recipient Still Thankful

CTNOW | David Moran

MICHAEL MCANDREWS. Andy Buczek is celebrating the anniversary of his heart transplant done 30 years ago. His was the first successful heart transplant done in Connecticut.

HARTFORD — The story of Connecticut's first successful heart transplant is one of tragedy, persistence, luck, and, ultimately, triumph.

Thirty years later, the recipient, 64-year old Andy Buczek, says he still has a great deal to be thankful for after a massive heart attack destroyed his heart.

Since receiving his new heart on Nov. 21, 1984, Buczek has built a house, started a family, maintained and completed a successful career and, with the exception of a few surgical procedures because of the drugs he still has to take, he has gone on to live his life in much the same way he did before his transplant.

"Even though it's not on my mind constantly, I have my moments where I wake up in the morning and think about it," Buczek said.

But the transplant at Hartford Hospital that saved Bucz…

Jessup woman donates kidney to mother

Capital Gazette | Brandi Bottalico

BY BRANDI BOTTALICO, STAFF. Michelle Long, left, and daughter Ashley Long in their Jessup home a week and a half after surgery. Ashley donated her kidney to her mother who had been on dialysis for about a year and a half.

The first thing Ashley Long wanted to know when she woke up from surgery: "Did it work?"

The Jessup resident donated her kidney to her mother Nov. 6 after watching her struggle with diabetes for six years.

"They tell you before the surgery, 'Don't be surprised if it's not working right away, it's normal', " Long said. "So I wasn't expecting them to say it was working."

But it was a perfect match.

"I was kind of worried about her the whole time during surgery since I couldn't be there with her," said Michelle Long, 49. "I was like holding my breath up until the last minute thinking she was going to change her mind, realize when it's really sinking in." Con…

Eight involved in kidney swap across two states

The Sidney Morning Herald | Tim Barlass

Darren McDonald, who was a donor, and son Josh, who was a recipient. Photo: Peter Rae

One day last week Qantas had a very special delivery in its cargo hold. It was the kidney from a married man in Sydney bound for a female recipient in Melbourne.

At about the same time another kidney was on a flight to Sydney bound for the same hospital where the married man was in theatre.

Down the corridor in another operating theatre his wife was about to receive this kidney from another donor in theatre at a Melbourne hospital. Another patient at the same Melbourne hospital was in turn under anaesthetic ready to receive a kidney from a male donor also in Melbourne at Monash Hospital.

And so it went on. Eight individuals across two states all either donating or receiving a kidney at the same time. In the space of a few hours the operations were complete and the participants were coming out of anaesthetic. It was the first time a four-way loop had been carried …

Gift of Hope: Tawannee Kolb waits for liver donor

FOX13 Now | Andrew Klay

TOOELE, Utah — Every Thursday evening on FOX 13 News at Nine, the “Gift of Hope” segment highlights a member of the community who is involved in organ donation.

The most recent Utahn to be recognized is Tawannee Kolb, 44, of Tooele.

Kolb’s doctor told him he needed a new liver in 1998, and it took four years to get his transplant. He got his first liver transplant in 2002, but is sick again and now needs another one.

Almost 12 years later, a biopsy revealed the father of six needs a second transplant. Tawannee’s wife, Alesha, described the pain of watching her husband get weaker. “It’s hard to get through the day and its hard to see him get sick and have to get so much sicker before he can qualify for a liver,” she said. VIDEO, Continue reading
You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California

Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency Reaches 2,000 Tissue Don

My FOX Al | Miranda Beard

The Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) reached a milestone earlier this month by completing its 2000th tissue donor. Federally designated as Mississippi's Organ Procurement Organization in 1994, MORA began tissue recovery services in 2000. Since that time, MORA's Tissue Services team has recovered an estimated 50,000+ tissue graphs from the 2,000 tissue donors. These graphs have been used in surgical procedures to help save and improve lives in Mississippi and across the country.

“This is a milestone for our team and agency, and it can be attributed in large part to the commitment the people of Mississippi have to improving and saving lives through the act of donation,” said Brad Mathis, the Director of Tissue Services for MORA. “Mississippi's commitment to improving and saving lives through donation can also be verified by the fact that MORA is on pace to establish a record number of tissue recoveries in 2014.” Continue reading

Triathlete who 'died' SIX times on his honeymoon after being ravaged by virus finally receives a new heart

Daily Mail | Madlen Davies

Andrew Britton, 34, died six times after catching heart-attacking virus myocarditis. He has finally received the heart transplant he needed to survive, just as he and his partner Lauren, 33, have had a baby for the first time.

A triathlete left fighting for his life within hours of arriving on honeymoon has finally received a transplant he desperately needed - and become a father for the first time.

Andrew Britton, 34, was told a heart transplant was his only chance of survival after the virus triggered six cardiac arrests and left him in hospital for a year.

Finally a donor was found, and a month later Mr Britton and his wife Lauren, 33, were thrilled to discover they were expecting a baby, despite concerns his medication would leave him infertile.

The couple's 'miracle' child, Frank Fabio, was born in October - and named after Mr Britton's surgeon.

Mrs Britton, from Denham, Buckinghamshire, said: 'If you'd have told me back in 2012 that…

Joining the Smallest Club in America

Huffington Post | Jack Doueck
On a brisk fall morning in 2013, I was called in to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City for an emergency checkup. Moments later, I sat surrounded by piercing silence and the cold empty white walls of the examination room. My heart rate quickened. Chilling possibilities slowly grew louder in my head, deafening me. I was alone.

"Mr. Doueck..." I heard a distant male voice say, "It seems you have been diagnosed with a rare disease called PH. There is no cure, but if all goes well, you have another five years to live."

I crumpled to the floor. My head was now spinning, my vision hazy. I was an active, healthy man with family and a life. And now I was going to die.

Minutes later, my vision refocused, and my heart rate slowed.

I had first visited Mount Sinai Hospital months ago with a goal of saving a stranger's life. And this was not going to stop me from achieving it.

In June of 2006, I read an article by an "ethicist" who argued…

Navy wife needs second kidney transplant

South Maryland News

Staff photo by REID SILVERMAN. Glenn Wilson of Lexington Park sets up shop outside Wal-Mart earlier this month as part of his campaign to find a new kidney transplant for his wife, Justina.

Justina Wilson needs a new kidney, again.

That’s the message she and her husband, Glenn Wilson, are trying to spread.

Glenn, a retired Navy chief petty officer who now works at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, donated a kidney to his wife several years ago. Unfortunately, that kidney is now failing, and so is his wife’s health.

“The strategy is to get the message out as far and wide as possible” and hope someone will donate a kidney to Justina, her husband said.

He had a large sign made at a local shop, and he stands next to it near busy roadside intersections around St. Mary’s County whenever he has time. The Lexington Park couple is also amassing a following on their Facebook page.

“There are people who are responding,” Justina said. Continue reading

Married 58 years, and they've donated blood nearly the entire time

Omaha | Michael Kelly

Some folks quietly give of themselves — literally. Over and over.

Paul and Colita Kwiatkowski open their veins and provide life-giving blood platelets. They have done it for so long that it’s part of their routine, practically every other week.

“There’s nothing to it,” said Paul, a former over-the-road truck driver. “There’s such a need for it, and it can help so many people. And I might need it myself someday, who knows?”

The Omaha couple know they are grateful for their 58-year marriage, for their health and for their family. Today they will give thanks at the home of son Ron and daughter-in-law Cindy.

Paul and Colita (last name pronounced Kit-cow-ski) wed when they were teenagers. They raised six children, lived in Nebraska and Colorado, and in their early 60s hit the road — traveling from 1999 to 2003 in an RV.

“A lot of people tell us we lived their dream,” Colita said. “We saw all the sights, the museums, the national parks. We visited state capitol buildings, so…

A tie that binds 2 families

Lufkin News | Rhonda Oaks

The Floyd and Hajizade families met recently in Houston after Taghi Hajizade received an organ transplant from Drake Floyd last year. From the left are: Natalie Floyd, Steve Floyd, Whitney Floyd, Harriet Hajizade, Cecilia Floyd (holding a photo of Drake) Brad Hajizade, Taghi Hajizade, Dr. Mark Hobeika and Steve Hajizade.

Aug. 27, 2013, started like any other day for Steve Floyd and his son, Drake.

Texting back and forth from their respective jobs, they made plans to go work on a bow-hunting stand as they went about their daily tasks.

Little did they know that in a Houston hospital, another family was at a bedside of a loved one preparing to say goodbye.

Neither family knew the events that day would change their lives and forever connect their families.

Drake, a 19-year-old Hudson High School graduate, suffered severe injuries mid-afternoon while using a forklift.

The Floyd family gathered around Drake’s bedside three days later as they removed the ventilator that wa…

Longview family celebrates new heart for 2-year-old

News-Journal | Amy Pearson

Salem Novak is thankful she’s in the hospital.

She’s thankful that today she’s at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas with her husband, Chris, son, Corbin and other son, Stark.

She’s mostly thankful that Stark, 2, received a new heart Sunday.
“I’m so grateful to spend this Thanksgiving in a hospital,” the Longview mother said Tuesday evening. “So very thankful.”

Stark was born with a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Essentially, the left ventricle of his heart didn’t form correctly and would be unable to function, a fatal condition.

Stark has had three open-heart surgeries, the first when he was 5 days old and the third the day before his second birthday in May. Continue reading
You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Organ Donor | Donate Life Am…

Let our lives be full of both thanks and giving.

Washington Regional Transplant Community

You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Organ Donor | Donate Life America
...and have a conversation with your family.

Heart Transplants for Mom, Son Give Kurtyka Family Much to Be Thankful for This Holiday Seaso

Huffington Post | Nancy Brown

Diane Kurtyka considers herself fortunate to have such a close-knit family. Counting kids, spouses and grandkids, there are 12 of them, and they live within 20 minutes of each other. You can usually find them together, maybe at a youth baseball game, a restaurant or enjoying the water behind the home Diane shares with Carey, her husband of 40 years, in Newport News, Virginia.

Their favorite times together are the holidays, with Thanksgiving and Christmas topping the list.

Three years ago, the family celebrated a Thanksgiving none of them will ever forget. A big reason was the setting: a visitor's lounge at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, where Diane had been living since September.

Congestive heart failure had slowed her for nearly 18 years, and in the fall of 2011, her life was in jeopardy. She'd received an artificial heart and was waiting for a transplant. Since she was confined to the hospital nearly 1½ h…

In all thing, give thanks.

Organ and Tissue a Donation Blog
To our readers, we give thanks for your kind support and readership.
Please remember those who gave the gift of life so that many of us are able to have a second chance at life and be with family and friends during our season of Thanks and Giving.

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Giving thanks: Transplant from stranger changes a life

Detroit Free Press | By Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Heather Fischer shows pictures of her and Kaitlin Frank as they talk about the bond they have formed after Fischer donated a kidney to Frank. Both were strangers until Fischer made her organ donation. (Photo: Diane Weiss Detroit Free Press)

Chance led Heather Fischer to Kaitlin Frank, and that lucky encounter changed — and potentially saved — Frank's life.

This Thanksgiving, the unlikely pair is celebrating not only shared good health, but a friendship kindled by the selflessness of a stranger.

Frank was a 20-year-old college student from Fair Haven in St. Clair County whose kidneys were failing because of a rare autoimmune disease called Goodpasture syndrome. She had been on dialysis for months and was hoping to get a transplant from the organ donor registry, though doctors had warned it could take several years for a kidney to come to her that way.

"It's a very long time, especially when you're doing dial…

Chloe Beaney: Teenage girl may only have days to live unless donor heart can be found

Mirror UK | Adam Luke

Waiting: Chloe Beaney, 14, needs a heart transplant
She was admitted to hospital two weeks ago and put at the top of the transplant list, having seen her health rapidly deteriorate since summer
teenage girl with a rare cancer may only have days to live unless a donor heart can be found.

Chloe Beaney's desperate family are glued to the bedside of the 14-year-old awaiting news that would save her life.

She was admitted to Newcastle's Freeman Hospital two weeks ago and put at the top of the transplant list, having seen her health rapidly deteriorate since summer.

So far, two matches have failed due to the poor condition of the hearts, leaving mum Katrina Wilkinson, dad Colin Wilkinson, step sister Siobhan, 18, and brother Dylan, 10, praying for "third time lucky", as doctors say she may have just days to live.

Chloe, who lives in Cramlington, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia - a rare type of blood cancer - aged two, and received six months of i…

40-year-old lost all his limbs, but now he’s walking and celebrating his 2 new arms


Will Lautzenheiser, a former professor of film production and screenwriting, lost his limbs in 2011 after a battle with a severe streptococcal infection. But he received two arm transplants in Boston. "To have come here and to have received this gift is really astonishing to me." Here, Lautzenheiser meets with members of the plastic surgery transplant clinical care team in June 2014 at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

(CNN) — A 40-year-old quad amputee was all thank you’s at a news conference Tuesday at a Boston-area hospital as he showed off his two new arm transplants.

Will Lautzenheiser sat next to the doctors from Brigham and Women’s Hospital who spent almost nine hours in surgery with him last month.

“To have come here and to have received this gift is really astonishing to me, and it’s obviously life changing,” he said.

Lautzenheiser, a former professor of film production and screenwriting, lost his limbs in 2011 after a battle with a severe streptococcal infectio…

Boy Gives Organ Transplant Recipient New Lease On Life

WUFT | Alex Paige

There are over 100,000 people in the U.S. waiting for organ transplants. J.T. helped several people get off that list. Townsend/ Handout Photo

John “J.T” Townsend V was nine. He loved race-cars and demolition derbies. Jimmie Johnson was his favorite NASCAR driver, and his favorite color was blue. Unlike typical nine-year-olds, he understood cars and heavy machinery.

J.T. was killed in a horrific roll-over car crash in April of 2013 with his mother Katherine Rene Adams Townsend after another motorist ran a stop sign.

J.T. and his mother were organ donors. At any given time there are over 100,000 people on the waiting list for organs in the United States, with people being added every day, and taken off because of successful transplant or death.

“Townsend”, 46, owner of Marion Metal Works in Ocala, J.T.’s father and Katherine’s husband, recounted this event as the worst day of his life. Continue reading
You have the…

Brentwood boy paying it forward with toys for other sick kids

San Jose Mercury News | By Rowena CoetseeContra Costa Times

BRENTWOOD -- A once-desperately ill Brentwood boy now is collecting toys for other young people who will be spending the holidays in a hospital bed.

For the second time, 9-year-old Aaron Tanner will be delivering donations of toys to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital along with Alex Heartman, an actor on the Power Rangers TV series.

Born with a rare heart defect, Aaron underwent a double organ transplant five years ago after both his kidneys shut down.

His family is requesting new, unwrapped toys for ages from newborns to teens as well as gift cards for parents who are staying at the hospital to be near their child.

Suggested playthings include baby toys, children's crafts, Hot Wheels and dolls, as well as action figures and toiletries for teens and parents.

Donors either can drop off their contributions at 2213 Barcelona Ct., Brentwood, or request a pick-up by calling Elizabeth Tanner at 925-899-1010. Continue reading

Louisville team performs hand transplant on Bowling Green, Kentucky man

Business wire

Kleinert Kutz surgeon, Tuna Ozyurekoglu, M.D., and Christine M. Kleinert Institute fellows Benjamin Wei, M.D., and Colleen Calvey, M.D., identify structures and prepare for bone work while Joseph E. Kutz, M.D., oversees the operation. (Photo: Business Wire)

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A Bowling Green, Kentucky, man was the ninth patient to receive a hand transplant by the Louisville Vascularized Composite Allograft (VCA) surgical team at Jewish Hospital during a 16-hour procedure on November 25. The Louisville VCA team is a partnership of physicians, researchers and healthcare providers from Jewish Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health; the Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery (CMKI); the Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center; and the University of Louisville.

The hand transplant recipient, Jim Ray, is recovering and resting comfortably at the hospital.

“This is the first patient where our team has had to do an amputation”

Joseph Kutz, MD, with the Kleiner…

Family Listens to Deceased Son's Heart Beat in Vet's Chest


The devastating phone call to the Heisler family came at 4 a.m. one Sunday in March. Their son Matt, a student at the University of North Dakota, had died in a house fire. He was just 21.

But fittingly for a young man described as tender, with a huge heart that was always in the right place, Matt was an organ donor. And so his heart beats on.

"It's hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that the heart I grew up with and felt in all of my hugs when I hugged him — that it is still out there somewhere," his sister, Casey Heisler, told NBC affiliate KARE of Minneapolis.

The Heisler family — Casey and Matt's parents, Jared and Cheryl — had been waiting to feel that heart again since it was transplanted into Tom Meeks, who lives in Washington state.

Because of Meeks' age and other health concerns, five hospitals refused to consider him for a heart transplant. But the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., gave him a lifeline, putting him o…

Kimberly boy, 6, gets second chance with liver transplant

Post Crescent | Cheryl Anderson

Six-year-old Tayten Krueger of Appleton with his Aunt Chelsie Peterson of Oak Creek. Tayten recently received a liver transplant from his Peterson on Oct. 7. (Photo: Sharon Cekada/Post-Crescent Media)

How do you thank someone for giving your child the gift of life? If you're Appleton mother Katie Krueger, you don't.

Krueger's stepsister, Chelsie Peterson, donated a portion of her liver to Krueger's son, Tayten, this year.

"Before we knew (Chelsie) was a match, I said, 'I just want to thank you' and she yelled at me," Krueger, 27, said. "She said, 'Don't you say thank you. It's my job.'"

Peterson, 25, of Oak Creek, who will return to work early next month after an eight-week recovery period, said the magnitude of what she did really hasn't hit home yet. "It will probably hit me when (Tayten) hits his first home run."

Tayten, 6, a kindergartner at Westside Elementary School in Kimberly, w…

Friend’s generosity leads to liver transplant

Palladium Item | Rachel E. Sheeley

Best friends Laura Toby and Christie Hill sat together a summer fundraiser for Toby. On Nov. 12, Hill donated a segment of her liver to Toby, who needed a transplant. Although the liver section transplant from Hill to Toby failed, it led Toby to receive a complete liver transplant on Nov. 18. (Photo: Photo supplied)

Family isn’t always a blessing of birth, but of friendship.

This Thanksgiving, two area families are celebrating the gift of friendship and the gift of life because Christie DeBruler Hill was willing to share a section of her liver with her best friend, Laura Alderson Toby.

Although the liver section transplant from Hill to Toby ultimately failed, it made it possible for Toby to receive a second, whole liver transplant from a cadaver donor.

Toby, a teacher at Test Middle School, is now recovering from the two transplant surgeries at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

“Everyone keeps telling me, ‘You’re going to be blessed so much throu…

DMV worker signs up organ donors, then needs one himself

News and Observer | Jean Bolduc

Lung transplant recipient Will Williamson goes on one of his many daily walks at his home in Smithfield recently. He spent years asking DMV customers to sign up to be organ donors. Ohoto: RAY BLACK III

DURHAM — When Will Williamson returns to his post, he will be traveling a bit lighter than before he got “the call.”

No oxygen tanks to lug alongside him. No elephant in his chest, making it laborious to breathe. Someone said “yes” to the question “Will you be an organ donor?” and now Williamson can walk unassisted and soon will be back at work at the Department of Motor Vehicles job he loves now more than ever.

This year’s pause to give thanks will be even more heartfelt than ever.

“These people,” he begins, trying to describe his gratitude for the many people working directly and indirectly through Donate Life NC, the North Carolina organ donor network. His voice chokes with emotion. “It’s so many people I’m grateful for.”

Part of his job for many years has …