Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Case of Deja Vu

Several days ago, I ran across the story of Cynthia Hale, a woman in need of a life-saving kidney transplant. She was enrolled in a "kidney swap" program and was scheduled to receive the needed transplant on September 11th. As I read through her story, it struck very close to home.

English: Ct-scan of the brain with an subdural...
English: Ct-scan of the brain with an subdural hematoma Nederlands: Ct-scan van de hersenen met een sub-duraal hematoom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On August 14th, Hale slipped and fell in the bathtub hitting her head. She appeared fine and celebrated her 15th wedding anniversary on the 16th. However, on the 17th, while celebrating her 47th birthday, she collapsed never to recover. She passed away on the 19th - just three weeks shy of the kidney transplant that would have cured her kidney disease. It wasn't the kidney disease that ultimately took her life. It was a subdural hematoma suffered when she fell and hit her head.

Hale's story does not end there, though. Janet Sterken, who had volunteered to be a living donor to Hale in the kidney swap transplant surgery, followed through and donated a kidney to someone else. When asked why she said, "There was a conversation about postponing it, but Cindy died waiting and I don't want someone else to go through that."

Hale's legacy will be never-ending as her death gave hope to others. Knowing the importance of organ and tissue donation, she donated her organs and tissues, including her liver, corneas, and heart valves, saving and improving the lives of others who were on the waiting list just as she was.

Kent
When I decided to title this post "A Case of Deja Vu," I did so, because as I mentioned earlier, it strikes very, very close to home. When I received my heart transplant in February 2007, I did so because of a caring man in a situation similar to Cynthia Hale's. He had been on the waiting list for a life-saving liver transplant for about four years. Unfortunately, he ran out of time waiting. However, like Cynthia Hale he died a hero as an organ and tissue donor saving my life and three others. Furthermore, he improved countless other lives through tissue donation. His name was Kent and the ones of us whose lives he touched will never forget him. The ones Cynthia gave hope to will never forget her, either.

For more information about organ and tissue donation, please visit the Tennessee Organ Donation Foundation, Inc.'s website at www.SaveLivesTN.org by clicking here.

Source : www.sfgate.com article titled Final Gift : Transplant Candidate Becomes Donor


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