Walking Miracles:” Residents given gift of life by organ donations

THE TRIBUNE | January Rutherford
Because of someone’s decision to be an organ donor, 61-year-old Leta Ahlbrand received a new liver and was able to go back to work and can now play with her grandchildren.

Emily Hume, 15, has a new heart and the opportunity to be a regular teenage girl.

And Lindsey Elkins, 62, is healthy again and has more time with family and friends after her liver transplant.

All three consider themselves to be “walking miracles,” thanks to the gift of life they received from their organ donors.

In 2016, doctors successfully completed more than 33,600 transplants in the United States, giving patients a second chance at life, according to the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

But more than 119,000 men, women and children still are awaiting a transplant, and another person’s name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.

Around 8,000 people on the list die each year, which is equal to 22 people a day or almost one person per hour, because the organs they need are not donated in time.

April is National Donate Life Month, and Ahlbrand, Hume and Elkins are sharing their stories as a way to encourage people to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. They also want to celebrate their donors, even though they may not know who they are and will never be able to thank them personally. Continue reading
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Be sure to share your decision with your family to ensure your generous gift is honored,  At risk is the legacy you wish to leave.