Edward Pratt: An organ donor’s unlikely tale

The Advocate | Edward Pratt

Photo provided by SUE POTTS -- Muriel Haysbert and Ed Pratt

My friend Muriel Haysbert has a new kidney that has given her a new lease on life.

I wanted to interview her and the donor about how the process happened. Colette Greggs, the donor, initially refused.

I told Greggs that her decision to be a donor might inspire other African-Americans to participate. According to some studies, African-Americans, for a number of reasons, are less likely to be organ donors. She grudgingly agreed.

I was prepared for a weepy story of sacrifice and tough decision-making by the donor. “This is not going to be what you think,” Greggs warned.

Indeed, it was not.

Greggs is the daughter of the late, legendary Southern University band director Isaac Greggs, the longtime leader of the university’s world-renowned Human Jukebox.

Colette Greggs is not related to Haysbert and, according to Greggs, “We’re not close friends.” In fact, she said with a smile, “I really don’t like her (Haysbert) that much.”

Both Haysbert, 60, and Greggs, 56, attended Southern University Laboratory School. Haysbert was a member of the SU band’s Dancing Dolls when Isaac Greggs was band director. Even so, there was no great bond between Colette Greggs, now an attorney, and Haysbert. Continue reading