Monday, February 29, 2016

Seven-Year-Old Transplant Recipient Shares Her Inspiring Story To Help Others


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 7-year-old transplant recipient, who shares an organ with 1960’s heartthrob Bobby Rydell, has a message of hope. She’s launched a new project that she’s hoping will inspire others.

With bouncy curls and an infectious smile, it’s hard to believe that 7-year-old Assiah Phinisee spent the first years of life in and out of hospitals. As an infant, she suffered liver failure and received her transplant at 14 months old.

I don’t really remember,” she says of that time.

“I went through an experience of watching my daughter die in front of me,” says Rasheena Phinisee, “it was life and death– bad skin, hair and teeth falling out.” Continue reading


Texas family meets man saved by organ donor son


HOUSTON (WHDH) - The family of a Texas teen killed in a car crash got to meet the man whose life was saved by their son's decision to become an organ donor.

Shon Blair died in a car crash back in January 2014. Mike Wendt, who was in dire need of a heart transplant, received Blair's heart shortly after his death.

On what would have been Blair's 20th birthday, his parents Vicki and Bobby got to meet Wendt. Vicki Blair called it "a bond that will never end."

"It's real now. To know that this man got my son's heart and he's living because of it," said Bobby Blair. "We are so blessed that he got it and I know that my son would honor you for it." Continue reading

7News Boston WHDH-TV


Following tragedy, ‘amazing’ choice will bring hope, says organ donor recipients

Medicine Hat News | CHARLES LEFEBVRE

Rick Padfield, who received a kidney transplant in Feb. 2015, says he was amazed by the decision of the families of Megan Kondor and Tanya Campbell-Losier to donate their organs following the two womens unexpected deaths. --NEWS PHOTO CHARLES LEFEBVRE

A pair of organ donation recipients in Medicine Hat are praising the decision of the families of two women who died unexpectedly last week to donate their organs for those in need.

“I thought it was amazing, when I saw that,” said Lisa Price, who received a kidney transplant from her brother in July 2012. “I just thought it was amazing for the family to do that.”

Tanya Campbell-Losier of Brooks died Feb. 21, with Jesse Dyck, 26, charged with manslaughter in connection with her death.

Megan Kondor of Vauxhall died on Wednesday following a motor vehicle collision near Hays on Feb. 22. In both cases, the women’s organs will be donated to assist those in need. Continue reading


Organ donor still touching lives two years after passing

FOX 4 KC | Molly Balkenbush

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A metro woman who was killed in an accident two years ago is still touching lives. Family said because 25-year-old Amanda Wilson was an organ donor, she has impacted 250 lives since she died.

Wilson’s organs, tissue and bone marrow were all donated to people who needed them and to science.

“It’s so soothing to know that she does live on in so many other people,” said Michelle Wilson, Amanda’s mom.

On Sunday, Wilson’s family got to meet the recipient of her liver transplant.

“I owe my life to her, so I owe her everything,” said Dan Morgan, who has a genetic disease called Wilson's Disease. Continue reading


Mom writes touching note to son's heart donor's family


7-month-old boy from Alaska with a failing heart was days away from death when his family received a call that a desperately needed heart transplant had arrived.

Lincoln Seay was born with a rare and severe heart defect that caused all his organs to develop on the opposite side of his body. His family had been waiting for a pediatric transplant since November -- which doctors feared would come too late.

"He was right on the edge," Dr. D. Michael McMullan, Seattle Children's surgical director of heart transplantation, who leads the center that performed 21 transplants last year, among the most in the nation, told the Seattle Times. "We have a list of patients and he was the one we were most concerned about."

According to a fundraising site set up by the Seay family, doctors told Lincoln's parents, Rob and Mindy, that it could take up to three months for a donor to become available.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Toddler gets world first adult kidney transplant using 3D printing

Breaking News Index

The 3D printer was purchased by the hospital last August to help specifically with conducting difficult organ transplants.

At the time, Mr Pankaj Chandak, specialist registrar in transplant surgery at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “This type of surgery is especially complex. The 3D printing of the donor’s kidney and the child’s blood vessels will assist the surgical team ahead of the operation and will increase the chances of the transplant being a success.”

3D printing is being used by several hospitals as a surgery aid, particularly for complex procedures like hip replacements and organ transplants. Continue reading


3rd Annual Krizia Kaiser Walk/Run

KGNS | Valarie Gonzalez

Hundreds of Laredoans laced up their shoes early Saturday morning to participate in a run; but, it wasn't just for sport.

The 3rd Annual Krizia Kaiser run-and-walk was held at Casa Blanca. Before Krizia's untimely death, she registered to be an organ donor. During the event, the surviving Kaiser family met one of her recipients. Krizia's parents say it was a memorable meeting. Continue reading


Son donates to father as University of Utah performs their first live-donor liver transplant

FOX 13 Utah

SALT LAKE CITY – While many organs are donated after a person passes away, University of Utah Health Care recently performed their first live-donor liver transplant.

It’s a fairly rare operation, as under four percent of all liver transplants in America are performed using live donors.

"A young, healthy donor of [his or her] own volition agrees to undergo an operation to have part of his or her liver removed, and at that very same day have it transplanted into a recipient,” said Doctor Robin Kim, Chief of the Division of Transplantation and Advanced Hepatobiliary Surgery at University of Utah Health Care.

Jason Clark said when he learned he could possibly save his father’s live, it was an easy choice. Continue reading VIDEO



Micro Cap Magazine | Robert V Boyd

In what’s been heralded as one of the most incredible medical accomplishments in recent years, the life of a baby boy has been saved after an emergency heart transplant was carried out mere moments after he went into cardiac arrest.

Things are beginning to shape up for little Lincoln Seay from Anchorage, Alaska. The seven-month –old type was saved by last-minute surgery after he suffered two cardiac arrests. Lincoln’s doctors recently declared him fit as a fiddle and his parents are preparing to take him home.

Rob and Mindy Seay from Alaska thought that the little baby boy will bring only joy and happiness in their family. Unfortunately, everything took a turn for the worse when Mindy gave birth to Lincoln. Continue reading


Kingsholm in raptures as heart transplant success story Jack, 5, urges fans to become organ donors

Gloucester Citizen

Little Jack Starczewski who was saved by a heart transplant has urged thousands of rugby fans to sign the organ donor register.

Cheltenham lad Jack, five, was just five months old when a new heart saved his life.

He ran out onto the rugby pitch at Kingsholm Stadium before Gloucester's match against Newcastle Falcons to raise awareness of becoming an organ donor.

"When people sign the register they save lives and Jack is living proof of that," said his sister Lucy, 22.

"If he didn't have the transplant he wouldn't be here now. We are so grateful to the family that donated. It's such a nice thing to do and they saved him. Continue reading


Friday, February 26, 2016

Family, friends celebrate liver transplant for 2-year-old Memphis girl

The Commercial Appeal | Jacinthia Jones

Nicholas and Jesse Faris with their daughter

The 2-year-old whisked away to Chicago by FedEx plane for a transplant surgery Thursday is recovering.

"Brooklyn is out of surgery and it was very successful!" according to an update posted Friday on the Children's Organ Transplant Association's website.

Brooklyn Faris has Alagille Syndrome, which prevents the liver from properly eliminating wastes from the bloodstream. A liver became available for her Wednesday afternoon, but a snow storm canceled flights to Chicago. If she couldn't make it to Chicago by Thursday morning, doctors told the family, they'd have to give the liver to someone else.

FedEx stepped in and flew the family to Chicago on one of its smaller, non-cargo jets. The family arrived in town shortly after 9 that night and in time for the surgery Thursday. Continue reading


Do frustrating experiences with the Department of Motor Vehicles discourage organ donor registrations?

Journalists Resources

Government leaders in multiple states have been debating ways to encourage more Americans to register as organ donors so that their kidneys, liver and other vital organs can be used to save the lives of others. At any one time, more than 121,000 people in the U.S. are awaiting organ donations – more than enough to fill two large football stadiums, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But there is a large and widening gap between the need for organs and the donations being made.

In most cases, donors are being asked to allow their organs, eyes or tissue to be used after their death. But living donations also are being encouraged. In February 2016, the Wisconsin Senate passed a bill that would allow living donors of organs to take a leave of absence from work to recover. The same month, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts signed a bill allowing drivers to keep their organ donor status until they ask for it to be changed – instead of requiring all drivers to update their status every time they renew their licenses. Also in February 2016, the New York Senate unanimously passed a four-year extension of a law designed to increase organ donations in that state. Continue reading


The family of a teen organ donor meets transplant recipient for the first time

KAUZ | Danielle Malagarie

WICHITA FALLS, TX - (KAUZ) - One heart brought two families together for the first time today in Wichita Falls as a transplant recipient met his donor's family.

Thursday afternoon Mike Wendt, who received Shon Blair's heart, met the family of the young man who saved his life.

When seventeen year old Shon Blair chose to become an organ donor, nobody knew he would be saving seven lives, and his sister Breon Blair said she has never been more of her brother.

Wendt said he is so grateful of Shon Blair’s selflessness.

“It means I got the chance for my life to go on,it just means the world to me,” said Wendt. Continue reading


Cleveland Clinic announces first successful uterus transplant in the U.S.

The Waskington Post | Rachel Feltman

Surgeons in Cleveland say they have performed the country's first uterus transplant on a 26-year-old woman, using a uterus from a deceased donor. (The Washington Post)

A 26-year-old patient is the nation's first recipient of a uterus transplant, doctors from the Cleveland Clinic announced on Thursday. The grueling nine-hour surgery took place Wednesday, and the patient — who received the organ of a deceased donor — is reportedly in stable condition.

The clinic has not commented further on the first patient, but she was one of 10 women selected for the approved clinical trial of the procedure. The women were all either born without uteruses (a condition known as Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome) or had to have them removed. For women with cultural, religious or personal conflicts with surrogacy, uterus transplants could provide biological children who would otherwise be impossible. Continue reading VIDEO


Celebrating Black History Month

Donate Life America


Memphis toddler receives new liver, FedEx flies her to Chicago for transplant


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two-year-old Brooklyn Faris is about to have a new liver.

The family received a call Wednesday that a liver was available for Brooklyn in Chicago.

Diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Allagille Syndrome when she was an infant, Brooklyn was given a 50 percent chance of living just four to six months.

Brooklyn is now in liver failure and desperately needs the transplant.

“Brooklyn is a feisty girl; she’s really happy,” Brooklyn’s mom, Jesse Faris, told WREG earlier this month. “But she will fight for what she needs. I think that’s what’s kept her around this long.”

Brooklyn’s positive, fighting spirit has helped her survive, but it was the generous support of the community that will help make the transplant financially possible. Continue reading


What hopes do you have for 2016

LifeCenter Northwest

We made an infographic to show the impact donation made in 2015 and the growth that we saw at LifeCenter Northwest!

What hopes do you have for 2016? #DonateLife #LCNWin2016


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lowell man needed organs that never came

Lowell Sun | Melissa Hansen

Zachary Merksamer and his fianc e Claudia Smith listen as Gary Merksamer Sr., standing, talks about his late son, Gary Merksamer Jr., on Monday afternoon. Gary died Saturday at age 24 after succumbing to a rare kidney and liver disease he battled since he was a baby. SUN /JOHN LOVE

LOWELL -- Gary Merksamer Jr. was hopeful he would get an organ.

Two, actually. For nearly two years, Merksamer was in need of a liver and a kidney transplant. The organs needed to come from the same person, someone whose body was similar to the 24-year-old's small frame.

Every time a doctor walked by his room at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he had been for about 10 weeks, his family said they waited to hear the magic words -- that they found a donor.

Merksamer died on Saturday afternoon, on the eve of a fundraiser at Crossfit Objective in Dracut that was planned to raise money for his recovery. Instead, a workout was done in Merksamer's honor on Sunday morning, and the $1,100 friends and family raised will assist with funeral costs. Continue reading


Liver transplant links Philly girl to Bobby Rydell | Helen Unibas

Assiah Phinisee shares a liver with her pal Bobby Rydell. JOHN AQUINO / Thomas Jefferson University

THIS IS ABOUT Bobby Rydell and a little girl, and the liver that binds them. And a lesson we too often forget.

Let this be a small reminder.

Assiah Phinisee has her eyes fixed on her video game and her ears on the conversation I'm having with her mom - you know, in case the pint-size cutie needs to clarify an important point or two.

"I'm 7 1/2," she soon interjects, pausing for dramatic effect. "And I take my half really seriously."

Her mom, Rasheena, is sitting next to her and talking about the children's book she and Assiah have written, called I Am a Flower Pot Made for a Plant. It is a sweet, if slightly heartbreaking, story about Assiah's search for a new liver - two, actually.

Assiah had her first transplant in 2009. She had her second in 2012, a partial liver whose other lobe was transplanted to Rydell, the 1960s teen idol and fellow Philadelphian. Rydell underwent a double-organ transplant to replace his liver and a kidney at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Assiah underwent her transplant at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington. Rydell received 75 percent of the organ and Assiah got the remaining 25. Continue reading


Donate organs to save lives

Myrtle Beach online | Letter to the Editor

My daughter is a medical student at the Medical University of South Carolina and recently she had the opportunity to participate in a heart transplant surgery. As she shared her excitement and amazement of the surgery, I found myself also excited for the recipient of the new heart and a new chance to live out his life. It is truly a miracle of God for him.

I also grieved with the family of the donor, knowing that they had tragically lost a child.

February is National Heart Month, so I thought it would be a timely reminder to all of us of how valuable organ donation can be. Not only did the recipient get a second chance to live, but I would hope that it would be some consolation to a mourning family to know that their loved one gave someone else the precious gift of life.

Please be an organ donor - give the gift of life. I want to be a miracle for someone else, do you?

Christi Sloan, Myrtle Beach


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

And Finally: Honoring organ donors with ‘Transplant Games'


Athletes and families came together Tuesday to promote organ donation.

The official flag of the games is on a country-wide tour ahead of the June event, and made a stop in Knoxville. It will travel around the U.S. before its final destination in Cleveland, Ohio.

The games will take place there on June 10-15. Athletes who participate in the multi-sport event have all had an organ transplant.

Organizers said Tennessee will be well-represented at the festival. Continue reading


Lung transplant for Guilderland woman like "a new life

Albany Times

Carolyn Nichols poses for a photo inside her home on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, in Guilderland, N.Y. Nichols needs a lung transplant and is moving to N.C. because she has gotten on a transplant list at Duke University Hospital. (Phoebe Sheehan/Special to The Times Union) less

Every breath Carolyn Nichols takes feels like "a new life" following her successful lung transplant surgery at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C.

She spent years of agonizing, waiting on a transplant list in New York, and endured several false hopes with lungs that turned out to be not viable.

Her overwhelming emotion these days is gratitude.

"I can't thank my donor enough. I feel like I have a new life. It's a miracle that I feel this good," said Nichols, 65, who was transplanted with two donor lungs the day before Thanksgiving. She now breathes without the use of bottled oxygen for the first time in many years after cystic fibrosis progressed and cut her lung capacity to less than 25 percent. Continue reading


Tuesday, February 23, 2016


WTVQ | Amber Krycka

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A young athlete is preparing for a basketball game. But in this game, everyone wins. It’s because this game will help people, who need organ transplants, to get them.

Riley Speck is shooting hoops. He’s just like any other 11-year-old boy. But, not quite.

“I had a disease called restrictive cardiomyopathy,” says Speck.

At 18 months old, Speck had to have a heart transplant. “I had the most deadly of them,” he says.

A transplant that changed his life. “I would’ve died,” Speck says. Continue reading


Organ donations in B.C. reach record in 2015

Vancity Buzz

Image: Organ Donation / Shutterstock

Newly released statistics indicate 2015 was a record year for life-saving organ donations in British Columbia, to the extent that the rate of deceased organ donations has more than doubled over the last six years.

According to B.C. Transplant, there were 95 deceased donors in 2015 compared to 32 in 2009. This represents an increase to a rate of 20 per million people – up from 7.2 per million people six years ago and above the current national average of 16.6 million.

Moreover, there were 422 life-saving transplants from living and deceased donors last year. Records were also reached last year in specific types of organ donations, specifically 35 lung transplants, 79 liver transplants and three liver/kidney transplants, and 271 kidney transplants – of which 161 were from deceased donors. Continue reading


Daughter of Santa Cruz liver transplant survivor gives her organs

Santa Cruz Sentinel | Kara Guzman

Diane Collopy, rights, stands with her husband Jim Collopy and daughter Caryn Collopy at her home in Santa Cruz on Sunday. The Collopy's daughter Jeanne Marie Collopy died last year and donated her organs, 14 years after her father received a liver transplant. (Kevin Johnson -- Santa Cruz Sentinel)

CRUZ >> In her downstairs quilting room, in a plastic box marked “donors,” Diane Collopy keeps dozens of cloth squares decorated with the names, photos and hobbies of people who have gifted their organs after death.

After her husband received a lifesaving liver transplant in 2001, the 74-year-old Santa Cruz resident began sewing memorial quilts for Donor Network West, an organization connecting donated organs with those in need.

Now Diane Collopy is planning a quilt block for her daughter, Jeannie Collopy-Bach, who died in August of a brain aneurysm at age 52. Collopy-Bach died asleep in her bed, but doctors kept her on life support for three days before recovering her organs.

Diane Collopy said her daughter’s quilt block will have butterflies, redwoods, dragonflies and a dog, because those were things she loved. Continue reading


Anatomy of a transplant: 13 lives, 17 days

Boston Children's Hospital Pediatric Transplant

It was “lucky 13” for the Boston Children’s Hospital Pediatric Transplant Center this January. Thirteen lives were saved by organ transplantation. Seven kidneys, three hearts, two livers and one pair of lungs were transplanted during the record-breaking month.

So what does it take to perform 13 transplants in 17 days?

“It takes a team,” says Dr. Heung Bae Kim, director of the Boston Children’s Pediatric Transplant Center. “We are very fortunate to have the talent and the resources necessary, so that when we call and say, ‘We have this many kids coming in for transplants,’ the team is ready, no matter what.”

Sixteen-year-old TJ Gregory is one of the lucky 13. He received a heart transplant in mid-January. He had been on the waiting list since October. Born with a serious heart defect called transposition of the great arteries, in which two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed, TJ has struggled with heart issues his entire life. At 40 days old, he had already undergone two open-heart surgeries. Continue reading