The Gift of Life: Twice – One Man’s Life Saved by a Stranger, then by his Brother

GIFT OF LIFE DONOR PROGRAM

“It was the worst day of my life,” said Michael Parsley, a two-time organ transplant recipient from Nazareth, PA. He was reflecting on his first evaluation to be placed on the national organ transplant waiting list. “We drove back from Philadelphia thinking, in five years, I would be dead.”

In 1992, Michael was living with the discomfort brought on by his rare rheumatoid arthritis. He was working a physically demanding job that required a physical and a pulmonary function test. That year had marked four years since his original arthritis diagnosis. It was time for the results of his illness to be revealed, and they were anything but what he was hoping to see.

Michael’s results revealed blood in his urine, indicating kidney damage. His arthritis had spread to his lungs and he had developed another rare condition, bronchiolitis obliterans. He spent 8 years in and out of the hospital on heavy steroids to battle the condition; his breathing had reduced to 35% of his normal capacity over this time period. In 2001, Michael’s pulmonary doctor in Lehigh Valley explained no other treatment was available; he would have to undergo a lung transplant. Continue reading
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