Organ donation. These words can carry a different weight dependent on the person you are asking. Some people only associate with the question when they receive their driver’s license. Then for people like myself, it means a new shot at life and infinite gratitude to those who decide to donate theirs.
I was 15 years old when I was diagnosed with a rare heart disease called Restrictive Cardiomyopathy. I was fortunate enough to maintain a stable status and live a relatively normal life up until I was 22. In November of 2015, my condition began to deteriorate and by November of 2016 I was hospitalized, forced to medically withdrawal from school just 4 weeks shy of graduation. I was then added to the heart transplant list.
I received a heart transplant at the University of Kentucky Hospital on December 17, 2016. I remember waking up from surgery and for the first time in years being able to breathe and feel my heart beating and actually feeling alive. There is not a single day I do not think about my donor and their family or the new heart beating in my chest. Due to my donor’s generosity, I saw another birthday, I graduated from college, and I am living a full life. This family changed my life and others because they said “YES” to organ donation.
Currently there are 114,000 waiting on a lifesaving organ transplant and not all of them will get their miracle because of lack of available organs.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been given a second chance at life and it is only possible because this person chose to be an organ donor. I encourage whomever is reading this, to become an organ donor. Simply visit: registerme.org
With all my heart,
Adrianne M. Rogers