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Victoria – Donor and recipient family


I grew up with a sick father. He had heart disease and everyday was a struggle for him. He went through countless hospital visits, surgeries, and sicknesses, and there were a few times in his life that we didn’t know if he’d make it through.

One such moment was the spring of 2009. He was on the heart transplant waiting list at the Cleveland Clinic and he only had a few short months left. I was only a young 8 year old girl but I was already very familiar with what was going on and what he had been through. Many times I had to say goodbye to my dad because the doctors didn’t think he’d make it through the night, and be it by a stroke of luck or some divine intervention, he always pulled through.

When we got the call that he had a new heart waiting for him, a feeling of relief swept over me and my family like a raging river. My dad’s life was saved because of the selflessness of someone else. I am still so grateful for the donor who extended his life. My dad lived another 9 years with his new heart. He was able to see me graduate from high school, and for that I am forever grateful.

After his transplant, he wore a small green bracelet that said “donate life” on it. He wore it everyday for 9 years until he died. I wear that bracelet now. It is a reminder of how precious life is and how one small check on a drivers license can change someone’s whole world. Join the organ donor registry. Be that person who extends a life.When he passed away earlier this year, he was able to donate his tissues and corneas, which is exactly what he wanted. That’s how much organ donation impacted not only him, but our whole family. I don’t like to think of his life as being cut short, but rather extended due to the doctors and especially the donor that saved his life.