Monday, August 31, 2015

Irish win seven golds at transplant games

Herald Ie | Allan O'Keeffe

Deirdre Faul, a liver transplant recipient from Dalkey, Kieran Murray, a kidney transplant recipient from Ramelton, Donegal; Peter Heffernan, a kidney transplant recipient from Skerries, Dublin; and Colin White, Irish team manager, (from Balbriggan) and National Projects Manager with the Irish Kidney Association

The winning foursome are expected to arrive at Dublin Airport this evening with a medal haul of seven golds, four silvers and two bronze from the games in Argentina.

In the squash event, Deirdre Faul, a liver transplant recipient from Dalkey, Dublin, retained her gold medal title for the fifth world games in a row. An accomplished swimmer, she also won gold in the 400m freestyle and a silver in the 100m breaststroke in her 40-49 year age category.

"There is the sheer awesomeness of the event. It's such a pleasure to look around and see my worldwide transplant family living life to the full - thanks to the gift of life given to us by donors who have taken the time to consider organ donation and change someone else's life forever," said Deirdre.

Peter Heffernan, from Skerries in Dublin, who received a kidney transplant in 2011, won two golds in the pool for backstroke events and a bronze in the freestyle event in his 50-59 age category. Continue reading


Neighbors: Former WDAY personality has nothing but fond memories


Bob Aronson

Jim Brooks, formerly of Fargo and now editor of the Irish Gazette in St. Paul, suggested a story about former WDAY Radio talk show host Bob Aronson.

Good idea. So, with the help of WDAY's Larry Gauper, Neighbors tracked Bob down, and learned he is retired, living in Jacksonville, Fla., with his wife, Robin, and has nothing but fond memories of his days at WDAY. And, he is a huge booster of organ transplants, because he is the recipient of one.

Bob was born in 1939 in Chisholm, Minn. He graduated from Chisholm High School in 1957, Hibbing (Minn.) Junior College in 1959, Brown Institute in Minneapolis in 1960 and was with WDAY and finishing degree work at Moorhead State University (now Minnesota State University Moorhead) in 1974 when Minnesota Lt. Gov. Rudy Perpich hired him as his press secretary. When Perpich became governor, Bob stayed on in that position. "It was one of the most rewarding times of my life," Bob says. But he never was able to finish his degree work.

When Perpich lost the 1978 election to Al Quie, Bob moved on. First, he was a freelance voice talent for advertisers in the Twin Cities area. Then Minnesota Public Radio hired him in 1980 to anchor the local show connected with National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" program.

Then "I believed that the skills I developed as a reporter, talk show host and press secretary might be valuable to corporate executives who interact with the news media," Bob says, "so I called some business people I knew and started a communication consulting and coaching firm." This eventually took all of his time, so he quit the voice and MPR jobs. Continue reading


SA finishes third at World Transplant Games

IOL | Lisa Issacs

SURVIVAL and recovery after an organ transplant can be a slow and difficult battle for many, but 46 athletic organ transplant recipients have thrived to emerge triumphant in this year’s World Transplant Games.

The 20th World Transplant Games was hosted in Mar del Plata, Argentina, this month where South Africa was placed third out of 44 countries with 89 medals – 41 gold, 24 silver and 24 bronze.

The team of 46 will arrive in Cape Town tomorrow morning.

South African Transplant Sports Association executive secretary Hermann Steyn said 19 athletes from the Western Cape won 42 medals in all – 19 gold, 18 silver and five bronze.

Athlete Lisa du Plessis from Plumstead has been one of this year’s stars, winning four gold and two bronze medals in various swimming events. She also broke the world record in the 200m individual medley and 50m breaststroke.

Du Plessis said the team was in high spirits after hearing of their overall performance as they packed their things and would begin the long journey home. Continue reading


‘Just thankful he’s here’

Th Durango Herald | Ann Butler

Liam Maddox plays with his dad, Paul Maddox’s, phone on Wednesday at their home in Edgemont Ranch. Liam will turn 2 on Nov. 1. Liam’s mom, Jaqueline “Jaci” Maddox, said since his heart transplant, when he was 5 months old, they have been taking one day at a time.

Liam Maddox, 21 months, is a lively, engaged toddler, checking out his dad’s cellphone, throwing a ball for his family’s Labrador retriever Desmond and trying to get his basketball in the mini-hoop.

But for his parents, Paul, 25, and Jaqueline “Jaci” Maddox, 22, he’s a walking miracle.

Their journey started when Liam came down with a cold in March 2014. Babies get colds all the time, don’t they?

But for Liam, 5 months old at the time, it turned out to be much more serious.

“We were in Alaska, and we figured it was just from flying,” his mother said. “But he was stuffed up and not getting better. We were turned away from the hospital three times, and two days later, when they finally admitted him, the doctors said he was one of the sickest babies they’d ever seen.”

The diagnosis was dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that keeps it from pumping as much blood as the body needs. Continue reading


Football coach received lifesaving transplant from former player

KOAT | Sandra Ramerez

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A devastating tragedy for one New Mexico family turned into a lifesaving miracle for another.

John and Judy Madrid’s living room is filled with pictures of their son, Jonathan Madrid.

Jonathan was a star football player and scholar at Belen High School.

"He loved football. That was his passion," said John Madrid.

Jonathan was supposed to leave for New Mexico Highlands University on Aug. 20 on a full academic scholarship.

Instead, that was the day John and Judy Madrid buried their only son.

Earlier this month, Jonathan fell off his bike and hit is head. He later died from his injuries.

The Madrid family said they hoped and prayed, "but God had a bigger plan."

Jonathan was an organ donor, a decision he made on his own in a driver’s education class. Continue reading,Video



History Channel Host Helps His Teacher Find a Kidney

Amy Waggoner, left, and Ellen Sherman share a moment before the transplant procedure.

A simple book dedication from a former student has saved the life of a Florida high school teacher and shined the social media spotlight on organ donation.

It all started two years ago, when best-selling thriller writer and History Channel host Brad Meltzer, 45, dedicated his book “History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time,” to his 11th-grade history teacher Ellen Sherman.

“For my history teacher Ellen Sherman, who taught me the power of asking the right questions,” the dedication read.

After seeing the dedication, Mrs. Sherman, 71, who had last seen Mr. Meltzer at a 2011 book signing, reconnected with her former student, whom she taught at North Miami Beach Senior High School. After a few exchanges, Mrs. Sherman, now retired from teaching, shared some unfortunate news: She was in poor health and needed a kidney transplant, but had not found a matching donor. 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:
...and have a conversation with your family

A Cornea Transplant Could Create the Next Masterpiece

Indiana Lyons Eye Bank


You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
...and have a conversation with your family

We got a new heart for our miracle baby.
#MadePossibleMonday: Facebook friend Lyn would like to thank their donor family for their courage.

You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
...and have a conversation with your family

Big first step for little boy with liver transplant in Edmond

News OK | Diana Baldwin 
Jaxon Saenz, 6, finally got to start kindergarten Friday after having a liver transplant. He missed all of last year and the first week of this school year in Edmond. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN]
EDMOND — Jaxon Saenz put on his Pokemon backpack Friday and walked down the hall at Ida Freeman Elementary School for the first time as a kindergartner.

The road to school for this 6-year-old has been a rough one that was interrupted by a liver transplant.

Jaxon didn't go to school last year because he couldn't take the chance of getting a virus or infection while waiting for a new liver. He missed the first week of school this year because he was back in the hospital with complications.

On Tuesday, Jaxon was released from St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Three days later, he gathered up his school supplies and was off to kindergarten with his parents, Kacee and Joey Saenz, and Rhonda Penick, the grandmother he calls Mimi, witnessing the milestone moment.

Jaxon is the fourth generation of his family to attend Ida Freeman Elementary School. His mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Ruth Stevens, all attended the Edmond school.

That wasn't important to him. He was excited and a little nervous about his first try at school. 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:
...and have a conversation with your family

Until cloning of replacement organs become a reality, we must rely on the kindness of others

Wanted to Kidney Donor

You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:

...and have a conversation with your family

World’s First Child to Receive a Bilateral Hand Transplant Returns Home from The Children’s Hosp

Gift of Life Donor Program 

Zion Harvey, the world's first pediatric bilateral hand transplant recipient has been discharged from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and is headed home with his precious 'gift of life.'

Press release from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Precocious 8-year-old Zion Harvey, the world’s first child to receive a bilateral hand transplant earlier this summer, and charismatic little boy who captured the hearts of millions around the world, was discharged from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)earlier today. Earlier this summer, surgeons at CHOP joined with colleagues from Penn Medicine and Shriners Hospitals for Children - Philadelphia to complete this landmark surgery and at a press conference on July 28, Zion, his family, and his medical team were introduced to the world. 

Following surgery, Zion spent a week in CHOP’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, then was moved to a medical unit and eventually moved to an inpatient rehabilitation unit where he has been receiving physical and occupational therapy several times per day, an essential step to gaining improvement in hand function.

“We are so proud of Zion,” said lead surgeon, L. Scott Levin, M.D., FACS. “Almost immediately after surgery, Zion displayed his resilience and positive attitude as he adjusted to the incredible experience of having new hands. In daily sessions with CHOP physical and occupational therapists, he has worked hard, slowly gaining movement and strength in each hand, learning to pick up and hold objects.” 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:
...and have a conversation with your family

I had my first heart surgery at only five days old.

Donate Life Oklahoma

You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:

...and have a conversation with your family

One Organ Donor Can Save Up to 8 Lives


You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:

...and have a conversation with your family

Funeral set to take place for inspirational transplant patient and campaigner

Birmingham Mail UK

The husband of an inspirational liver transplant patient who campaigned to raise organ donation awareness says his “selfless and caring” wife’s legacy will live on.

Gareth Jakes, aged 26, has paid tribute to wife Kate who died on August 7.

Kate, 22, from Shard End, documented her transplant journey on a blog called Talking Transplants and in turn inspired others to sign up to the donor register.

But tragically as she waited for a fourth liver transplant she passed away before a match could be found.

A proud Gareth said: “She was just a beautiful human being inside and out. She was a selfless, caring and loving person who just wanted to help others. She was my wife - my world.

“She wanted to do everything she could to raise awareness into organ donation. She had a huge affect on people who not only knew her but those who who were touched by her through her blog. She wanted to encourage as many people as possible to become organ donors. Continue reading


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian Offer to Help Man Trying to Trade His Rare Yeezy Kicks for a Kidney

Entertainment Tonight | Sophia Kercher

Calling on Yeezus!

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian recently found out about the troubling circumstances of a young man who needs a new kidney -- and the superstar couple wants to help.

On August 27, self-proclaimed "sneaker head" Matt Neal announced an unusual offer on Facebook: He was willing to trade his rare Adidas Yeezy Boosts for a working kidney.

"People are always joking that they would give a kidney for a pair of Yeezy's!!" he wrote. "Well here's your chance, I'm 26 with 2 failing kidneys."

Neal, who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said he has been on dialysis for two years. In follow-up Facebook posts, Neal revealed that the waitlist for a kidney transplant in his home state is as long as five to seven years.

West and Kardashian were moved by Neal's story, which has since gone viral. The two said that if he makes the trade, they will give Neal a brand new pair of the covetable, hard-to-find kicks, according to TMZ. Continue reading


MI: Organ Donor Meets Recipient For First Time


You'd think that Rob Burrows and Nellie Fischer were friends reuniting as you watch them embrace.

"Overwhelming, anxious, excited" says organ recipient Rob Burrows.

Those emotions all for a new bond of two people meeting for the first time. "It's nice to finally meet him you know, it's exciting" says Nellie Fischer, kidney donor.

"Everything was kind of kind of I don't know" says Fischer. "I'm nervous I'm yeah" says Fischer.

But Nellie's nerves are all worth the rescue. "we got this far just by coincidence to me everything is in God`s hands" says Michelle Burrows, recipients sister. Nellie Fischer happens to work with Rob's sister; "She is such a great person."

Nellie`s wanted to donate her kidney since she was 13. Now she might be able to help end Rob’s battle with diabetes. Continue reading


Hundreds rally around teen waiting for heart transplant

Quad-City Times | Linda Cook

QUAD-CITY TIMES Colby Carlson, right, 14, of Davenport, who recently was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure, jokes around with classmates from Williams Intermediate School during a fundraiser for he and his family Sunday at the Elks Club in Davenport.

The pack Colby Carlson, 14, of Davenport wore Sunday afternoon — and always — is keeping him alive while he waits for a new heart.

Colby, the son of Laura Carlson and Scott Carlson, both of Davenport, looked like any other teenager enjoying animated conversations with friends and family members. Hundreds of people attended a fundraiser Sunday at the Elks Club, 4400 W. Central Park Ave., to help the family with medical costs as they wait for a heart transplant.

Games, food, music, drinks, auctions and raffles inside and outside the building drew hundreds to create a festive atmosphere designed to help the family through the serious situation.

Seeing all his friends and family was “pretty cool,” said Colby, whose friends and family members were constantly by his side. His diagnosis, on the other hand: "It’s not very fun.”

His buddies stayed near him throughout the event. “This is my best friend,” said Bre Williams, of Davenport. The event, she said, “is very supportive. It shows we care.” Continue reading


Tournament raises thousands in memory of organ donor

Post Star | Amanda May Metzger

Steve Jacobs photos— Chris Conine, father of the late Timothy Conine, a 22-year-old Queensbury High School graduate who died last year following a motor vehicle accident, pitches Sunday at the inaugural Timothy Conine Memorial Co-Ed Softball Tournament at Jenkinsville Park in Queensbury. The event was held to raise awareness and funds for organ donation and aftercare support for organ donors.

QUEENSBURY  After 22-year-old Timmy Conine died following a vehicle accident last year in Argyle, his guardian signed him up as an organ and tissue donor.

Since then, six of his organs — including his lungs and liver — have saved four lives, and his corneal donation has restored sight to two people. According to statistics, his tissue donation could save up to 50 lives.

It’s the kind of scenario the good-hearted giver would have loved.

“It made sense. He would give you his last dollar. That’s the type of person he was,” said his cousin, Jessica French.

Conine’s death left a void on the softball field, but on Saturday and Sunday, about 400 people turned out to symbolically bring him back to the Jenkinsville softball fields for the first Timothy Conine Memorial Co-Ed Softball Tournament, which organizers plan on making an annual event.

His family teamed up with the Center for Donations & Transplant of New York and Vermont for the tournament to honor his memory, raise awareness, sign up new donors and raise money for the center, which offers aftercare support for families of organ donors in 43 hospitals across upstate New York and Vermont. Continue reading


Couple a perfect match - for live organ donation

Yuma Sun | Amy Crawford

Janine and Jerry Lane knew they were well-matched, but they didn't know that when Jerry would eventually need a new kidney, Janine would be the one to provide it.

When Jerry and Janine Lane started dating and got married almost 37 years ago, they knew they were well-matched.

The two longtime Yumans just didn’t realize how close that match was until Jerry started having kidney problems and would eventually need a new one.

With odds that the two would be a match standing at about 1 in 100,000 Jerry estimated, Janine would go on to save her husband’s life by donating him one of her healthy kidneys.

“Wow, how could (we) be such a perfect match?” Jerry said.

“She stole my heart, so she owed me a kidney,” Jerry joked during an interview with the Yuma Sun.

That word, “match,” is the key to finding a kidney, or any other organ. According to the Mayo Clinic, several tests are done to see if a donor may be able to donate a kidney to a certain person. Things that need to “line up,” or match, typically include blood type, tissue type (also known as HLA) and crossmatch. Continue reading


Names added to memorial honoring thousands of lives saved by organ, tissue

FOX 13 Salt Lake City | Mark Green

SALT LAKE CITY – Another 575 names were added to a wall in Salt Lake City Saturday, and the wall is a memorial to thousands of lives that have been saved by local organ and tissue donors over the years.

Intermountain Donor Services adds new names to the memorial each year during an emotional service, and the Celebration of Life Monument is located in the southeast corner of Library Square, 500 South 300 East in Salt Lake City.

Of the 575 names added this year, 23 of them were living tissue donors. This year’s additions bring the total number of names to 6,020, according to a press release from Intermountain Donor Services.

Families of those who have received donations said the event is a chance to say thank you, while families of donors who have passed on said it’s a chance to see their loved one’s gift continue onward.

“You just don’t want people to ever forget that your child was here, and that’s the hardest part, you don’t want them to forget your child,” said Crystal Ulibarri, the mother of an organ donor. “And, he’s my hero, he truly is. He made the choice to save lives.” Continue reading


Organization working to boost organ donation among minorities

Las Vegas Review Journal | Michael Lyle

Arlett Valencia, who has to undergo dialysis daily to survive, has been on the organ transplant list three years waiting for a new kidney and pancreas. ERIK VERDUZCO/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL Follow him

Arlett Valencia crosses another date off her mental calendar, counting the days she has been waiting for a kidney and pancreas transplant.

"It has been 1,156 days," she says as she sets up her daily dialysis — the machine that has kept her alive since her kidneys started to fail. "If you would have told me three years ago I would still be waiting, I wouldn't have believed you."

Valencia is not waiting alone.

In Nevada, there are 558 people waiting on an organ transplant list, including 76 African-Americans, 119 Hispanics, 78 Asians and 12 American Indians.

Alma Rodriguez, multicultural coordinator with the Nevada Donor Network, says many of these donations are tied to other health issues prevalent in minority communities such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

But as Valencia, 36, has discovered, despite being affected disproportionately, the number of minorities who register to be donors is surprisingly low.

There are 880,450 registered donors in Nevada, but registration is low among minority communities.

Rodriguez says the organization currently doesn't have the number of registered donors broken down by ethnicity but is working to find out. Continue reading


More than an act of kindness: Burlington man donates a kidney to one of his employees

The Times News | Bill Cresenzo

John Blythe of Burlington, right, donated a kidney to one of his employees, Rick Ingoglia, recently in Orlando, Fla. Blythe's job as a district manager for a music instrument company takes him up and down the east coast. Ingoglia works as a shop manager in Florida.

Rick Ingoglia got a very big bonus from his boss, John Blythe of Burlington, this year: a kidney.

Blythe is the district manager of repair for instrument company Music & Arts, covering a region that spans from Virginia to Florida. Ingoglia is a shop manager and repairs brass instruments in Orlando.

They have been friends and colleagues for about seven years.

Ingoglia, 58, has polycystic kidney disease, meaning that he has cysts on his kidneys that with time, multiply and get larger.

Earlier this year, Ingoglia called Blythe to let him know that his kidney function was worsening and that he would have to take time off, advising that his kidneys were functioning at 20 percent and he would have to start dialysis unless he had a transplant.

He had just put his name on a kidney transplant list, along with thousands of others.

Dialysis is tedious and arduous. Most patients spend several hours three days a week as a machine filters their blood. Continue reading


Organ donation is the gift that keeps on giving


Even in his death, Trooper Steven Vincent is giving the ultimate gift, life, to people desperately waiting on organs and healthy tissue by becoming a donor.

The day before Trooper Vincent was shot, he ran a marathon. He was the model of tip-top health.

In becoming an organ donor, he is transforming the health of those dependent on a stranger’s generosity. That is something Louisiana State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson acknowledged publicly. “Trooper Steven Vincent just continues to keep giving,” he said, “He’s donated his organs, his very healthy organs that someone around this country will receive.”

The Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, or LOPA, flag was raised outside Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Monday while transplant teams were with Trooper Vincent. For two days, they worked to retrieve organs and tissue, then connect those donations with people in the most need, explains LOPA community educator, Suzanna Morton. “They all have a very short amount of time, so once the recovery begins, it’s actually pretty quick. Really the time-consuming part is finding the matches, coordinating the recovery teams to come in, scheduling the operating room,” she said. Continue reading


Caden's Car Show highlights importance of organ donation


WXYZ) - For the second year in a row, Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor is hosting Caden's Car Show. The event not only gives young hospital patients a break from their stay, it also highlights the importance of organ donation.

Caden Bowles had a huge love of cars. He was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and received a heart transplant at just six weeks old. At age seven, he was diagnosed with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease, a type of cancer that can be a side effect from taking immunosuppressant drugs. Caden beat cancer, but at age ten, his heart began to fail. His wait for a new donor took long, and he passed away at age 11.

In his memory, people from all over the country have joined Team Caden to honor his memory by making a difference. Their goals are simple: continue reading


Spotsylvania man campaigns for new kidney for wife

Fredericksburg | Amy Flowers Umber

Glenn Millis — with wife Ana Rendich in front of one of her paintings in their Spotsylvania County home — made signs to help save her life. A transplant bought her seven precious years with their children, but she needs another.

Ana Rendich gasped as she saw the red and white sign. She threw her hands over her face and shrank into the passenger seat of the car.

“I wished I had a blanket to throw over my head,” she said. “I wanted to disappear.”

The bold “KIDNEY NEEDED” sign horrified the 58-year-old Rendich.

“I thought, ‘Who asks for a kidney?’” she said.

But she knew exactly who had asked for one: Her husband, Glenn Millis. And he was asking because Rendich desperately needs one.

“She is a little bit mortified by the signs,” he admitted. “But I’m a lot terrified of losing her.”

The white signs began popping up around the Fredericksburg area a few months ago. To Rendich, they represent an imposition — a request that was way too audacious. Continue reading


Justin Wilson's example is one to follow to save lives

The Morning Call | Bill White

The organs of driver Justin Wilson, who died from a head injury at the Aug. 23 Pocono IndyCar 500, were able to save the lives of six people. (Derik Hamilton / AP)

The headline was one of the few bright spots in a depressing series of stories about the death of IndyCar driver Justin Wilson in the aftermath of last weekend's Pocono Raceway event.

"Six lives saved by Wilson's organ donations," it said.

The story was prompted by a tweet from Justin's brother, Stefan, also a race car driver. "Justin Wilson saved 6 lives today," he wrote on Twitter. "He just keeps setting the bar higher. Keep Julia & the girls in your prayers."

Tragic as Wilson's story is, his high-profile case offers a good opportunity to remind people about how important organ donation is.

"People donate every day," said John Green, community relations director for the region's Gift of Life Donor Program, "but when you have someone like Justin who is high profile and has a large fan base very loyal to him, when they see his example, it gets them to talk and share his legacy. It certainly increases awareness of donation."

He said Justin had put his organ donation wishes on his driver's license, and his family respected them. "From what I've read of Justin, he was a giving man." Continue reading


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Slice: Liver transplantee Megan Sodergren of Roscoe sees life from different perspective

Journal Standard | Jay Taft, Rockford Register Star

Megan Sodergren, who had a liver transplant when she was a baby, with her son, Gavin. PHOTO PROVIDED

Megan Sodergren feels it when she watches her son, Gavin Bick, wake up with a smile.

She feels it when she hears about another family having to go through the ordeals of an organ transplant, knowing what they will have to endure, often for the rest of their lives.

As a healthy 31-year-old mother, she even feels it when she accomplishes small feats, like taking a short jog with Gavin every other day or so when they arise.

What is “it"?

The woman who had to endure a life-saving liver transplant at 18 months old often feels relieved. To be more precise: “It’s just a joy to be alive.” And there are plenty of things that stir it up and, she suspects, will to do so for the rest of her life.

“When certain things happen, or someone says something or does something, it kicks in for me, and I can’t help but feel just a happiness to be alive,” she says. “I wake up and I’m just so happy to be alive.”

Sodergren got sick when she was 14 months old. By the time the doctors figured out that her liver was failing, they had two weeks to get her a new one — or she would die. They got it, right on the deadline, when a 2-year-old boy was killed in a car accident. Continue reading


Emirati heart transplant recipient taken to Chicago

Gulf News | Aghaddir Ali

Aghaddir Ali is a staff reporter of Gulf News.

Sharjah: A 21-year-old Emirati, who became the UAE’s first recipient of an artificial heart two months ago, is on his way to Chicago, to have a natural heart transplant, Gulf News can exclusively reveal.

Early Monday, Salem Juma Mohammad Al Junaibi left Sharjah’s Al Qasimi Hospital in an ambulance for Abu Dhabi, from where he flew to Chicago, Dr Arif Al Nooryani, executive director and consultant cardiologist at Al Qasimi Hospital, told Gulf News.

He was accompanied by Dr Mohammad Abdul Aziz, consultant cardiologist at Al Qasimi Hospital.

Officials at the Chicago hospital said preparations are under way to receive the young patient.

Al Junaibi, who left the hospital with a big smile on his face, said he was grateful to the team of doctors who treated him. Continue reading



Joey Gase honors late IndyCar driver Justin Wilson in Xfinity Series race at Road America


NASCAR driver Joey Gase is making a personal tribute, honoring late IndyCar driver Justin Wilson in this weekend’s Xfinity Series race action at Road America.

Gase’s No. 52 is carrying a photo and written testimonial to Wilson on the back end of his race car. It’s part of an initiative with Donate Life to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation.

Several of Wilson’s organs were donated after his passing in last Sunday’s IndyCar race that helped six different individuals.

“He never stopped giving & caring for others. Even at this time. He had pre-chosen to donate his organs to help others in need. #myherojw,” Wilson’s brother, Stefan, said on Twitter.

Wilson’s predetermined initiative to donate his organs hit close to home for Gase. Continue reading