Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New heart gave dying man 30 years — and time with grandkids

Tampa Bay Tribune | Paul Guzzo

Frank Spurlin, the second person to ever receive a heart transplant at Tampa General Hospital, receives a hug during the celebration at the hospital 2011. JAY CONNER/STAFF - See more at: http://tbo.com/news/politics/new-heart-gave-dying-man-30-years-x2014-and-time-with-grandkids-20150629/#sthash.AythKPAT.dpuf

Glen Frank Spurlin of Lakeland counts many benchmarks in the past 30 years of his life.

He attended the college graduations and weddings of both his sons.

He bought a vacation home so deep in the North Carolina woods he can sit and watch bear cubs play. He has welcomed five grandchildren into the world, spoiling each of them as grandparents do.

“I’ve collected lots of memories,” said Spurlin, 73. “I am thankful. An argument can be made I shouldn’t be here.” It was 30 years ago this month that Spurlin underwent heart transplant surgery. No heart transplant patient in Florida and few worldwide — international records are hard to verify — have lived so long afterward.

On June 21, 1985, doctors at Tampa General Hospital estimated Spurlin had just hours to live unless he underwent a procedure considered so radical at the time that it bordered on science fiction. Continue reading


Louisa man searches for kidney donor on social media

NBC 12 | Britni McDonald

LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - A Louisa husband and father suffering from chronic kidney disease is resorting to social media to help find an organ donor.

28-year-old Danny Woody is one of about three million people struggling with a disease that's incurable and can be fatal. Five years into dialysis and 100 pounds thinner, he's ready for surgery. But now he waits -- along with thousands of others -- on the transplant list.

Woody asked his doctor how long he had to live about seven years ago, when he was first diagnosed with kidney disease at age 21.

"At that point I had about a 20 percent chance of dying from kidney failure, and with each passing year with treatment, it would increase by 20 percent," said Woody. Continue reading

NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side


Queens girl who died playing soccer will donate organs

New York Daily News | Erik Badia, Tracy Thomas

Laura Palma, 10, of Richmond Hill, recently told her parents of her desire to donate her organs after watching a movie. Sadly, she'll get her wish after collapsing while playing soccer Monday.

She was kind beyond her years.

The 10-year-old girl who collapsed and died on a Queens soccer field Monday tended to neighborhood animals and donated her hair to help sick kids.

"I just wish there were more people like her. We would live in a better world. She was just so remarkable. She had so much to give," a sobbing Patricia Nolasco said of her daughter. "Laura was really the rock of this family."

Laura Palma — who had no history of health problems — was enjoying her first day of camp playing soccer when she had an apparent seizure around 3 p.m.

Luis Palma arrived at the Queens College Kew Gardens Hills campus to see his daughter on a stretcher, with EMTs frantically trying to revive her.

"When I held her hand I said 'We lost her,'" Palma told the Daily News through tears at their Richmond Hills home. "At that moment when I touched her, I knew." Continue reading.



Life-saving lesson: Teacher to donate kidney to co-worker's daughter

TODAY | Chris Serico

Courtesy of Aidimar Richardson

Elementary-school teacher JoAnn Schettig, right, volunteered to donate her kidney when she learned about the illness of her co-worker's daughter, Alex Brigantti, and wound up being a donor match, despite unlikely odds.

When elementary school teacher JoAnn Schettig learned her co-worker's daughter was ill, she taught everyone a lesson in compassion.

The Wilmington, North Carolina, educator had heard her Mary C. Williams Elementary School co-worker, data manager Aidimar Richardson, lamenting the illness of her 16-year-old daughter, Alex Brigantti. Diagnosed Aug. 13 with MPGN Type-II — a chronic kidney disease that stifles the organ's ability to filter toxins — Alex not only needed a kidney transplant, but also had to find a matching donor, despite odds that were reportedly 1 in 100,000.

A Facebook page called "A Kidney For Alex" was posted to raise awareness about her condition, but Richardson's lucky workplace conversation appeared to trump even the wide-reaching impact of social media. Continue reading


Walk to honor life of GlenOak freshman who died

The Canton Respository | Jessica Holbrook

Alexis “Lexi” Miller loved to dance. She loved music — country music especially — and swimming. She loved being with her friends and family. She was always smiling, always ready to help, always full of energy.

She died Friday at age 15, from complications of hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare congenital heart defect. She was awaiting a transplant at the Cleveland Clinic.

“Basically, she was the most beautiful girl you would have ever wanted to know,” said her grandmother, Beth Buehner.

“She enjoyed life to its fullest... She never was down. She just knew how to light up a room and make you smile.”

To celebrate Lexi’s life and support the Miller family, friends are forging ahead with a fundraiser July 10 at GlenOak High School. Lexi would have been a freshman at GlenOak High this fall. Continue reading.


Heroism medal conferred in fire that killed Lakeville college student

Twin Cities Pioneer Press | R. Chin
Matt Heisler and his sister, Casey. The siblings grew up in Lakeville. (Courtesy photo)
After Ryan Nelson pulled his friend Matt Heisler from a burning house in March 2014, he performed CPR to get Heisler's heart started again.
Heisler, 21, of Lakeville would later die in the hospital. But his heart is still beating, donated in an organ transplant.
On Tuesday, Nelson, 22, of Eagan was honored for his actions, with an announcement that he has received the Carnegie Hero Fund medal.
The national award, founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, honors individuals who have risked their lives "to an extraordinary degree" attempting to save the life of another.
Only about 100 Minnesotans have received the medal in the 111 years the award has been in existence. Continue reading.

Kidney donor dad gives son his life back

Lancaster Guardian

Jamie Marlow and father Phil Marlow after dad turned out to be a perfect match to be a kidney donor

He lives with one kidney, but dad Phil Marlow takes no medication, needs no special diet and says he feels as fit as ever.

And best of all, his son Jamie is living his life without pain or illness, after Phil’s gift of a kidney saved his life.

Now the father-of-three is keen that others learn from his family’s story – that live transplants are nothing to fear and can change lives.

Mr Marlow, 51, an instructor at HMP Farms Prison in Lancaster, said: “I feel so relieved, Jamie has his life back and his future looks bright.”

Jamie was first diagnosed with kidney disease (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis) in 2010, after being admitted to hospital that Christmas suffering sickness, exhaustion and major swelling.

The young father-of-three began taking medication to even out his condition and return to normal family life with wife Charlotte and Amelia, now seven, ahead of the birth of twins Jaxson and Maisie, now four. But only for so long.

He said: “In the end the medication stopped working. I developed pneumonia last February and went downhill from there. I started on kidney dialysis in July.” Continue reading


Charles was the father of three and loved his children very much

Donate Life Oklahoma



Another person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes

Donate Life


Monday, June 29, 2015

Katherine Heigl : My brother was an organ donor


My brother was an organ donor. Please read his story and register to give the gift of life.


Donor dad Scott Hulsizer knew he could help as daughter Sadie’s liver was failing

The News Observer | Rose Rimler

Sgt. Scott Hulsizer with his daughter Sadie, 9-months, Wednesday, June 17, 2015 near their home in Sneads Ferry. Scott Hulsizer donated part of his liver to baby daughter Sadie in March. Because livers regenerate, Scott's liver will continue to grow in both him and Sadie. | TRAVIS LONG tlong@newsobserver.com Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/durham-county/article25033225.html#storylink=cpy

DURHAM. When it became clear in January that 3-month-old Sadie Hulsizer would need a liver transplant, she and her family began a wait that can be agonizing.

There are many fewer organ donors than there are people on the transplant list. According to the American Liver Foundation, more than 1,500 people die waiting for liver transplants every year.

Because the liver is the only organ in the body that can regenerate, doctors have the option of removing a segment from a living person for transplantation. This is plan B in most cases, because it requires two surgeries, and if the donor is a member of the same family as the patient, this means that two family members would be under the knife, and in recovery, at the same time.

Sadie’s father, Marine Sgt. Scott Hulsizer, knew he might be a good candidate to help his daughter because he was healthy and young. But he could only donate once. His own liver could be reserved as a backup in case Sadie rejected a different liver. Continue reading



Shared kidney ailment brings Arlington dad, son closer

The Dallas Morning News | Marc Ramirez

Louis DeLuca/Staff Photographer A quarter-century apart, Moses Cabrera and son Moses Jr. had kidney transplants, performed by the same surgeon. This Father’s Day, the two will toast each other’s health — and recall the health scares that brought them closer together.

They share the name Moses, and from there the similarities just keep going: They dress alike, have similar parenting styles and when prompted by a memory, they’ll both break into song.

They’re men of few words and great faith. And a quarter-century apart, Moses Cabrera and son Moses Cabrera Jr. both had kidney transplants, performed by the same surgeon.

This Father’s Day, the two will toast each other’s health — and recall the health scares that brought them closer together.

“It’s just amazing that we both had to go through this,” says the elder Cabrera, a retired postal carrier. “But God has been good to us.”

Both have been separately diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, a mostly hereditary condition that causes cysts to form around the kidney, limiting and eventually destroying its function. It affects about 500,000 people nationwide.

The two Cabreras, like gym partners, encourage each other to pursue healthy habits, take their medications and stay the course. Continue reading


Cross-country move brings woman to her kidney donor

HJNews | Amy Macavinta

Eli Lucero/Herald Journal When Noreen Pollard, right, needed a kidney her neighbor Heidi Gordon donated one to her.

During the summer of 2013, Noreen Pollard and her two kids moved across the country from Mississippi to Utah. She was recently divorced, and her name had been added to a nationwide organ transplant list — it was a good time to return to Utah.

Pollard was born in Ogden and has family in the area, but she said she felt drawn to Wellsville, which worked out nicely because her daughter was able to transfer her studies to Utah State University.

However, when she moved into her cozy little home on Center Street, she never dreamed her future kidney donor lived just two doors down.

"I think we were led here," she said.

Now 45 years old, Pollard was diagnosed at 32 with polycystic kidney disease, an inherited disorder that causes non-cancerous cysts to develop inside the kidneys, interfering with the body’s ability to dispose of toxins and eventually leading to kidney failure.

By the time she moved to Utah, Pollard was experiencing a near-constant pain, especially in her right kidney. She described it as a dull, throbbing ache with periodic sharp stabs. Her blood pressure was elevated, she was tired all the time, and she said she often lived in a fog she couldn’t quite describe — all common responses to the toxins in the body. Continue reading



Oakland: Man shot in car dies; organs donated

San Jose Mercury News | Rick Hurd

OAKLAND -- An Oakland man shot in the head Thursday has been removed from life support at Highland Hospital, and his mother said Sunday his organs will be donated.

"He's officially gone," Denise McFadden said of her son, Dont'a Harkins, 30, who was shot as he rode in the back seat of a car in the 3900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way. "They've removed him, and he's now with the coroner."

The Alameda County coroner's office also confirmed Harkins had died and that he was in its custody.

McFadden, who lives in Antioch, initially expressed reluctance about having her son's organs donated when contacted by this newspaper on Saturday. But she said Sunday she has changed her mind, and that doctors showed her paperwork indicating Harkins intended to be an organ donor.

"They did give me a paper showing his name, birth date, and it did say that he signed up" to be a donor, she said. "We didn't know anything about it at first. Until I saw something, I was against it. But now that I know, I do feel a little better about that." Continue reading


Dad saves his nine-month-old son's life by donating part of his liver to the boy


When nine-month-old Caleb Munn (left) needed a liver transplant earlier this year, his dad, Brian Munn, came to the rescue and was able to donate part of his liver to the boy

One New York dad will be having an extra-special Father's Day on Sunday as he celebrates with his nine-month-old son, who he donated part of his liver to earlier this year to save his life.

Brian Munn's son Caleb was born in September with biliary atresia, a disease that inflames and blocks bile ducts and affects liver functions. At three months old, Caleb was still jaundiced, a discoloration that usually goes away within a few weeks for healthy babies.

Concerned parents Brian, 30, and his wife Brittany, 27, of Binghamton, New York, took their son to Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, where he was diagnosed with end-stage liver disease.

'I guess I was kind of anticipating [the diagnosis], just with the Googling I was doing… but I wasn't expecting it to be as severe as it was, so it was definitely a shock,' Brittany told FoxNews.com.

Caleb underwent surgery - a Kasei procedure - to replace blocked bile ducks with parts of his own intestine, which work as new ducts.

A month after the procedure, however, Caleb was rushed back to the hospital and doctors realized that the surgery had failed and that his condition was worse than they originally thought and decided he was going to need a transplant. Continue reading



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Danny Gonen’s Family to Donate Organs

Jewish Press

Daniel Gonen, HY"D, murdered in Israel by terrorists, June 19, 2015. Photo Credit: Facebook

The family of terror victim Danny Gonen who was murdered on Friday afternoon by Arab terrorists near Dolev — has donated some of his organs for transplant recipients in Israel.

Gonen had signed the “ADI” organ donation card (which also allows for transplant after coordination with a religious authority) and his family complied with his wishes for his organs to be donated.

May his memory be a blessing… and may G-d avenge his death.

For more information on ADI organ donation in Israel: https://www.adi.gov.il/ continue reading


Kidney-giving dad is Charlotte’s hero this Father’s Day

Romford Recorder | Emma Lake

A 15-year-old girl who received a kidney transplant thanks to her dad has explained why he’s her hero in the run-up to Father’s Day.

Charlotte Archer-Gay and her dad Phil will be celebrating on Sunday as both have recovered well from the transplant, needed after Charlotte suffered kidney failure two years ago.

Charlotte says: “I named my dad’s kidney Bobby because on the day of our transplant he was wearing a top with Bobby Moore on and he told me he was wearing it because Bobby Moore is his hero. Dad is my hero and so I thought the name was perfect.

“Since receiving my dad’s kidney my life has changed completely. I get to spend much more time with my friends and doing the things I love. I feel a lot more normal and this makes me so happy.

“I can’t put into words how grateful I am for what my dad did for me. It gives us a connection that not many people have and to say I am thankful would never be enough.”

Before the transplant the teenager, from Havering-atte-Bower, had been dependent on dialysis treatment four nights a week, had severe diet restrictions, and could not take part in sports and other activities. Continue reading.


Social media can open the door to organ donations. But are we bypassing those most in need?

The Globe and Mail | Wendu Leung

When Delfina Amores was two months old, it was discovered she had biliary artesia and needed a liver transplant. The family received more than 1,100 responses to a Facebook post searching for donors. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

In late April, seven-month-old Delfina Budziak moved into Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children to wait for a donation to replace her failing liver.

Less than three weeks later, her father, Peter Budziak, heard from a co-worker that Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk needed a liver, too. A public appeal made on Melnyk’s behalf, at a news conference and shared on his hockey team’s widely followed Facebook and Twitter accounts, attracted more than 500 people willing to offer up part of their livers.

The hockey magnate didn’t cross Budziak’s mind again until Delfina’s mother was initially ruled out as a suitable match for Delfina, who was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a condition in which the bile ducts of the liver are blocked or not fully developed. Budziak pulled out his mobile phone and tapped out a plea on his Facebook page, and asked a few friends to spread the word.

The tactic had worked for Melnyk, he thought: "Maybe that can work for us." Continue reading



Football team raises money to boy in need of multi-organ transplant

ABC 27 | By Samantha Galvez and Sarah Newton

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – As raindrops fell outside, love and support flooded the inside of the Elizabethtown High School stadium.

"Tonight’s all about Tony," Tom Cross, a member of the Ghost Riders football team, said.

Tony Forte like any young child, loves to play video games, hang out in his backyard, and have nerf gun wars with his brother. However, unlike many children, Tony Forte needs a multi-organ transplant.

Even at a young age he is very charming and will have you laughing and smiling in seconds. But if you walk a mile in his shoes, you might have a tough time. "He hasn’t been able to do the things that I’ve luckily been able to do when I was little." said Jarvis Cummings, quarterback.

That’s because Tony was diagnosed with total colonic Hirschsprung’s disease when he was six days old. He can’t eat or go to the bathroom like most children can. Continue reading


Organ donation: A Father's Day gift of life

9 News - KUSA | Maya Rodriguez

For Eric Schreiber, his 16-year-old daughter Christina -- a karate student and budding pilot -- is the apple of his eye. (Photo: KUSA)

LONGMONT- For Eric Schreiber, his 16-year-old daughter Christina -- a karate student and budding pilot -- is the apple of his eye.

"[She's] a fabulous girl that we adopted from Russia in 2001," he said. "I've tried to set her up that she be an independent young lady."

It's was an independence fostered, in part, by the uncertainty of whether Schreiber would get to guide his daughter into adulthood. His kidneys have failed him and he's been on dialysis. He's been waiting for a transplant for years.

"I've actually been on the waiting list since 2009," he said.

This week, all of that will change when he finally gets a new kidney. The match came about unexpectedly thanks to his wife Barbara Ciletti.

"It was probably the last thing that I expected," she said. VIDEO Continue reading.


Taiwan Shuts Down Organ Transplant Tourism

News Hong Kong | Jenny Li, Epoch Times

Taiwan’s parliament has made amendments to its organ transplantation law that would have the effect of criminalizing the transplantation of organs from executed prisoners in China, part of a global trend to halt the trafficking of human organs in China.

In a June 12 session in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, a number of important amendments to the Human Organ Transplant Ordinance were read and passed as law. Under the updated legislation, patients who travel abroad to receive an organ acquired by illegal means can be sentenced up to five years in jail and faces fines from NTD 300,000 (about $9,700) up to NTD 15,000,000 (about $484,000).

The new amendments place some of the responsibility of regulation on doctors and hospitals. Doctors must file a report for any patient who receives a transplant overseas and carries out follow-up treatment in the country. Both doctors and hospitals are subjected to fines of up to NTD 150,000 (about $4,840) if they fail to submit reports. Medical institutions and staff will incur criminal charges for filing false reports.

Lee Po-Chang, chairman of Taiwan’s Organ Registry and Sharing Center, said Taiwanese doctors can refer their patients to overseas hospitals that acquire organs via legitimate means. Doctors still need to submit a report on these cases upon their patients’ return. Continue reading.


Getting to know a transplant candidate

Van Wert Ohio Times Bulletin | Jim Langham

VAN WERT — This past May 21 was one of the biggest days in the life of Crestview graduate Jasmine Coleman. It was the day she was officially listed nationwide for a double lung transplant.

It was in 2011 when Coleman, the daughter of Don and Faith Coleman of Van Wert, was diagnosed with a rare but very serious lung disorder that takes on appearance like cystic fibrosis. The disease causes the lungs to fill with fluid and, in Jasmine’s case it causes them to fill with blood. Initially, Coleman was treated with antibiotics and airway cleaner. Then, in May of 2013, a doctor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital requested that she be evaluated for a double lung transplant.

In August of that year, Jasmine was approved for processing for a transplant evaluation. She received her first pre-transplant work in January of this year, but complications quickly developed. She began to hemorrhage and was life-flighted to Cleveland Clinic for treatment. These days, as she awaits news concerning a potential transplant organ, she has 22 percent function of her lungs, with most of it in her left lung. Her right lung is filled with blood. She is on six liters of oxygen for any activity and requires two liters for rest.

Unfortunately, matters are complicated by the fact that Coleman was born with a disorder causing bleeding and immune deficiency. Continue reading.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lower Burrell councilman waits on lung transpla

Pittsburgh Tribune Live | Liz Hayes

Courtesy of Richard Callender Lower Burrell Councilman Richard Callender is a Democratic candidate for mayor in 2015.

While he's stuck in the hospital awaiting a lung transplant, Lower Burrell Councilman Rich Callender is using the enforced downtime to read up on Pennsylvania's Third Class City Code.

He hopes he'll have a new set of lungs and a better understanding of municipal law by the time he takes office as Lower Burrell's next mayor in January.

Callender is the presumptive mayor-elect after defeating fellow Councilman Joe Grillo for the Democratic nomination in the primary election. Callender received enough write-in votes to take the Republican nomination, which means he'll be the only candidate on the ballot in November.

“It's a blessing in disguise,” Callender said of his lung condition worsening now, rather than after he steps into the role of mayor. “I'll be completely healthy by then.”

Callender was diagnosed about 11 years ago with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic and potentially fatal disease that causes scarring in the lungs and inhibits the body's absorption of oxygen. The National Institutes of Health and the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis indicate many IPF patients only live about five years after diagnosis. Continue reading.


Local girl gets new liver

Fairborn Daily Herald | Jonathan Gallardo

FAIRBORN – Isabella Siemaszko has not had what many would call a normal childhood. She has spent much of her life going in the hospital, and this year, the young Fairborn resident underwent an organ transplant. But despite experiencing all this, Bella has maintained a positive attitude, and she has an appreciation for the everyday activities most people take for granted.

Bella’s mother, Destiny Siemaszko, said her daughter does not fear the frequent hospital visits.

"She doesn’t really freak out as much as most kids normally do when they’re in the hospital, because it’s all she’s known her whole life," she said.

Born in January of 2010, Bella didn’t get to go home until four months after she was born. She had jaundice, not uncommon among newborns, but there was something else that was wrong. A liver biopsy at Dayton Children’s Hospital proved inconclusive, so Bella went down to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with biliary atresia, a disease where the common bile duct between the liver and small intestine is either missing or not functioning correctly. It’s rare, affecting only one out of about 15,000 to 20,000 infants, according to Cincinnati Children’s. Continue reading



Donate the greatest gift to save a life

Express UK | Paula Murray

The Robertson family are searching for a donor

The Robertson family are searching for a donor

Gary and Susan Robertson and their two sons feature in a heartbreaking new BBC documentary as they embark on the emotional rollercoaster ride of finding a suitable donor.

Gary is one of around 70,000 people in the UK with polycystic kidney disease, a life threatening, inherited illness which also affected his mother and grandfather.

Although he has known about the condition since he was 18 it wasn’t until around his 40th birthday five years ago that his health started to deteriorate.

However, neither he nor wife Susan, 42, had expected him to fall ill so young when the previous two generations had reached the age of 61 before needing a transplant.

The father-of-two was so desperately unwell the family’s life was literally put on hold.

Susan said she signed up as a living donor without his knowledge but after seven months of tests was told they were not compatible. Continue reading


Iowa Donor Network race ups the stakes at Hawkeye Downs

The Gazette | Jeremiah Davis

Joey Gase competes in the late model heat race at Hawkeye Downs on Friday, June 26, 2015.(KC McGinnis / The Gazette)

NASCAR driver and Cedar Rapids native Joey Gase came back to race finished a "frustrated" third on night honoring organ donors

CEDAR RAPIDS — No matter the stakes, when racecar drivers get behind the wheel, they’re after the win. It could be for $10,000 or pride and the competitive fire will take over.

But add in extra special meaning to an event, and the desire gets cranked up to the max.

Such was the case for multiple drivers Friday night at Hawkeye Downs Speedway on Iowa Donor Network Night. NASCAR Xfinity Series driver and Cedar Rapids native Joey Gase was back in town to race his Late Model on a night honoring, along with several others, his mom Mary Jo Gase.

Gase finished third in the main event behind back-to-back winner Brian Gibson and Brad Osborn. He thought he had a win while battling with Gibson, Osborn and Tim Plummer, but it wasn’t meant to be.

"It’s good I’m frustrated," Gase said after the race. "We had slowly made our way up through the field, waited for everyone to wreck each other and use up their tires. We got in there to take the lead but got hooked and almost got wrecked on the front stretch. It just sucks we were that close to a win. Continue reading