Giving the Gift of Life


A life is cut short. A family is approached. As they begin to deal with their pain and their grief, they are shown a way that some benefit may come from their loss. A way that lets their child, their brother, their sister, their husband, their wife, their mother, their father, live on. A way to give another human being a second chance. The generosity of a family will go on to bring new hope or life to another. It is the most precious gift one can provide. The most generous gift a family can give.

 

Inspiring stories from the recipients of donated human tissue. 
We sincerely thank all of the donor families.

 

A Child Receives a Second Chance for Life

There was a 3-year-old girl, who suffered from a congenital heart defect.  Unlike her twin sister, who was born with a healthy heart and full of energy, she struggled to breathe and eventually became limited in her abilities to play and enjoy life.  Her symptoms indicated a heart condition, which eventually was diagnosed as aortic stenosis.

Utilizing a pulmonary heart valve, her surgeon performed the Ross procedure to repair the congenital heart defect.  Several days post-operation, the little girl was released with excellent valve function on both the left and right sides of her heart.  Even though she may need a replacement valve in the future (depending on the development of her aorta) the prognosis is very good.  She is enjoying a normal childhood.

The family of this child expresses their gratitude to all who have given their daughter a second chance to be a child again.








A Grandmother Accepts the Most Precious Gift

A woman in her 60s had lost her husband a couple of years ago.  She was saddened by her personal loss, but maintained her own independent spirit and love for family.  Her fortitude was challenged when she learned that she had developed severe peripheral vascular disease.  If untreated, she faced amputation of her leg. 

The strong-willed woman could not bear the thought of hindering her active lifestyle she shared with her three grandchildren, so it was an easy decision for her to choose vascular surgery instead of having her leg amputated.  She is expected to make a full recovery and will be able to continue the independent quality of life she so cherishes for many years to come. 

This would not have possible without the decision to donate from the loved one of a donor’s family.











A Donor's Generosity Provides Quality of Life for an Active Senior Citizen

While enjoying retirement, a man in his early sixties developed narrowing of his popliteal artery as a result of diabetes and high blood pressure.  He was faced with the possibility of having his leg amputated above the knee.

Having a very active lifestyle playing golf, boating, fishing and being an avid volunteer in his community, an amputation of this type would have had a devastating impact on the quality of his life. 

He was able to avoid the amputation by having an iliac-popliteal bypass.  The implantation of a saphenous vein allograft was used for the procedure.  Without the implant, his mobility would have been restricted to a wheelchair. 

The patient recovered well, without any restrictions to his mobility or recreational and community activities.  He continues to enjoy his retirement.  Fortunately for him, tissue donation prevented him from being among the estimated 200,000 amputations that occur every year in the United States. 

*The photos on this page are illustrative only and are not of actual recipients.
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