Health: Transplant recipient wants to change lives


NILES — Fallon Coody knows what it’s like to wait for news that a donor has been found for a life-saving organ transplant. Growing up, she spent four of her first eight years in the hospital and underwent two liver transplants, with the first one failing after a short time.

Now 33, Coody talks about the subject whenever she can.

The need for organ donors is always there, said Tim Makinen, communications director for Gift of Life Michigan. The number of people on the waiting list for a life-saving transplant in Michigan grew slightly over the last year. “Put another way, names are added to the waiting list faster than they come off because of organ transplants,” he said.

Michigan’s waiting list currently numbers more than 3,600 people, of which 34 are age 17 or younger, including 14 who are 5 years old or younger. In Indiana, more than 1,400 men, women and children are awaiting a transplant.

Makinen said that 898 people in Michigan received an organ donation in 2015, with 681 of the organs coming from deceased donors. At the same time, 174 people died last year while waiting for a transplant and 191 became too sick to get one. Continue reading
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