Thursday, February 24, 2011

Valentines Day special for recipients and donor families

Valentines heartValentines Day 2011 was special for six families as heart recipients and their donors' families met for the very first time at Baptist Memorial Hospital - Memphis. The story, Heartfelt Thanks : Transplant Recipients Meet Donors' Families, on is heart warming and tells of how the miracle of organ donation helps donor families heal after losing loved ones. For instance :
  • Kathryn Spragins needed a heart transplant due to a genetic defect. She met the mother of her donor, 17-year old Keith Williams Jr., who died after being shot in the head. Kathryn told Keith's mom, "Your Keith is right here."
  • The family of Antonio Williams met with recipient Guy Price for the first time. Antonio died from a stroke but saved Guy's life in the process.
  • Sammy Robinson's hypertension was so severe that he couldn't even receive a pacemaker. His life was saved by Michael Gilmore when Gilmore's life was taken in a shooting. Gilmore would have graduated from college last December.
These stories remind me of the first time I met my donor family in 2007. It was a special time that I will never forget. These families won't forget Valentine's Day 2011, either. These moments create memories that last a lifetime. As a recipient, they make you even more thankful to be alive. For donor families, being able to actually see the person your loved one saved provides healing. It doesn't get much better than this.

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