Record Online | Josh Bakan
KINGSTON — Somebody has to die for Jim Milano to live.
His son used to sleep two hours a night worrying about him. His wife visited him in the hospital constantly. He had no control over finding a heart to keep him alive. Chuck Jackson, president of the Kingston Umpires Association and a lifelong friend, visited room 734 of Rochester General Hospital in Rochester, N.Y.
All patients in the room awaited a heart transplant, their only hope to live.
New York has no shortage of patients awaiting a heart. New York holds the lowest percentage of enrolled organ donors in the U.S., according to a study published May 28 in American Journal of Transplantation. More than 123,000 Americans need lifesaving organ transplants. Twenty-one die each day waiting.
Milano, 60, expected the hospital to instantly place a heart inside him and let him get back to his life. Instead, he was hospitalized from September 2013 to March 2014. Continue reading