KODA Stories

Andrew, Organ Donor

Andrew was an awesome young man of just eleven years – a short life was filled with love for everyone he knew.  His eyes were crystal blue and now they shine as stars in the night.  He had a laugh that everyone wished they had, one that could make your belly hurt and a smile that could wrap around the world, his family and his teachers.  A young man that for his size knew how to hug, oh how he genuinely wrapped those arms around you and left a wonderful feeling that you had been hugged by him and he meant it.  His love and energy expanded into the great outdoors as he and his Dad loved to hunt turkey, deer and go fishing.  Sports were another highlight in his life as he was a gifted athlete enjoying football, basketball and track.  His teammates described by others as being forever touched and inspired.  He loved spending time with family, grandparents and friends which most of the time he was the center of entertainment.

Andrew was involved in an ATV accident July 2008, and five days later pronounced brain dead.  As he lay lifeless in the hospital bed his Mother recalls “it was as if whispers from our angel so profound and vivid….save someone else Mom – I CAN DO IT!  The words never spoken but yet were so clear and strong to my ears.”  The contact was made with the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) and the feeling of a warm blanket was placed around us. The KODA team handled every situation with extreme reverence and compassion toward our family.   Dark times led to a lighted path of giving – giving the ultimate gift of life.  We know that Andrew is honored because, though in our tragedy and having to let him go, the outcome has spread into such a positive new form of life.  Our family does have peace and comfort in knowing that a part of Andrew lives on in many.  Born in the fifth month, completing fifth grade and in the end became an organ donor giving five lifesaving organs.  Andrew was our champion and only child, he was truly Heaven sent.

Andrew’s legacy continues as his parents pledge to his classmates “The Andrew Johnson Marshall County High School Class of 2015 Scholarship”.  Throughout the next four years numerous fund raising events will take place in his honor.  Spring of 2015 those funds will be awarded to recipients of his graduating class providing them with hope and inspiration for their future wrapped with Andrew’s love.

-Shared by Andrew’s parents, Kevin & Susan Johnson


By |March 15th, 2013|Organ Donor|Comments Off on Andrew, Organ Donor

Anna, Liver Recipient

Imagine lying in bed at night, trying to scratch an itch that you can’t reach.  Until a life-saving liver transplant in 2012, Anna lived daily with this and the many other uncomfortable symptoms associated with biliary atresia, an end stage liver disease.  Even though Anna was born healthy, a virus attacked her liver, and caused the need for a liver transplant.

Anna was on the waiting list for over three years before the call came that a family had generously agreed to organ donation, and that a liver had become available for Anna.  Anna’s family knew that the call was a life-saving one for Anna, and they give thanks daily to her donor and donor family.  They have become huge advocates for organ donation, knowing that not everyone is as lucky as Anna.  They encourage people to join the donor registry when they renew their driver’s license, or simply by taking five minutes to go online to www.donatelifeky.org and join.  It can make the difference between life and death.

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Natasha, Organ Donor

Natasha was a caring, loving, giving – very unselfish beautiful daughter.  Always wore a smile – she lit up a room and a laugh that you would always remember.  She told me when she was in nursing school she wanted to be a donor.  I have been able to tell Tasha’s story and make people aware that life is everlasting.  My daughter’s life carries on to three more people and changed their lives, their family’s lives, and  Tasha lives on – what she did was a legacy to her life.

I have met one recipient and she is truly beautiful inside and out.  Her wish was to meet the donor family and her sisters helped arrange that.  I am so happy for them – I have no regrets – none and it makes a big difference not only to her but to me.  Her personality is so uplifting and to know that Tasha gave her that makes me very proud as a momma.  This donation has not just assisted me with healing but has reaffirmed my faith that God already knew how this was going to be only positive going forward.   If it wasn’t for Tasha’s unselfish gift I think I would be struggling even more with her death. Those who have a choice to give, please know this is a healing gift to the donor family

As told by Natasha’s mother, Donna

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Megan, Liver Recipient

Megan understands firsthand the importance of organ donor registries and the “gift of Life.”  She received a lifesaving liver transplant in March of 2009, and has spent much of her free time since then, educating others about the importance of donation, and honoring her donor.  “I encourage everyone to sign up for the registry.  It’s a chance to help others, as I have been helped” says Megan.

Megan returned to school after her transplant, and works as a surgical technician in a busy trauma center.  She loves that her job affords her the opportunity to “give back” and help others.  She leads a very full and productive life, and enjoys decorating, shopping, and spending time with her family and friends.  Receiving a new liver turned her life around, and she is forever grateful.

By |March 15th, 2013|Organ Recipient|Comments Off on Megan, Liver Recipient