Naples grad leaves legacy of organ donation

Daily Messenger | Julie Sherwood

Diane McCarl enjoyed a visit to Grimes Glen in her hometown of Naples on Sept. 6. SUBMITTED

NAPLES — Diane Lee McCarl never got the heart transplant she desperately needed.

But she had heart — the kind that provided for others suffering with life-threatening conditions the chance for a longer life.

“Diane was an organ donor herself,” said Diane’s mother, Pat Cochrane. Her daughter, who died Sept. 25, had arranged for her organs to be donated after her death. That donation provided enough skin, tissue, bone, tendons and corneas to help 55 recipients, Cochrane said. Her corneas restored sight for two women in Louisville, Ky., and all the rest of her donation went to California to help those injured in the recent wildfires, Cochrane said.

Diane “loved California, she lived there 12 years, so we felt it was most suitable that this happened,” Cochrane said.

Diane, a 1992 Naples High School graduate, had been in line for a heart transplant before medical complications temporarily took her off the list. Since May, Diane's condition had been stabilized with a special medical device that kept her alive and “actually allowed her own heart to recover enough to sustain her,” Cochrane said. Continue reading