February is American Heart Month and I want to share a special firsthand account as a parent of a very young donor recipient. My little girl’s whose life was forever changed thanks to a heartfelt donation. “I am writing to share the story of my daughter Eleanor, who is alive today because of an organ donor.She was born with multiple congenital heart defects. A team of doctors determined that her only option was a heart transplant. At 10 days old, Eleanor’s name was added to the national waiting list. After a 2-month wait, when she was 10 weeks old, she received her life saving heart transplant, and we are immensely grateful for every day since. Eleanor is fortunate to have encountered minimal complications post-transplant, and now at 8 years old is a thriving, happy ray of light to everyone. Healthy, active and full of energy, a constant reminder of how far she’s come. Looking at her it’s almost hard to believe the tough times she’s been through. We are so proud of Eleanor’s courage and resilience. We love her enthusiasm, her creativity, her imagination, she has the best laugh, she gives the best hugs, she just makes everyone smile. Her favorite phrase is "BEST DAY EVER!"Last fall we celebrated her first day of 2nd grade, another milestone made possible by her donor. She is an incredible success story, living life in honor of her donor. The donor family selflessly said yes to organ donation. Their yes kept our family whole and allowed Eleanor to receive the ultimate gift: a perfectly matched heart and a second chance at a full life. When she was born we didn’t know how much time we would have with her. Because our donor family made the decision to donate life, we got to keep her. Every day is bonus time. Her survival was dependent upon the kindness of strangers. Organ donation is the ultimate act of kindness. There are currently over 114,000 men, women and children nationwide waiting for lifesaving transplants.I hope and pray my message inspires others to pay it forward in the biggest way possible, because tomorrow is never promised. Regardless of age or medical background, you have the power to save lives. Please register to become and organ/tissue donor and make your wishes known to your loved ones at RegisterMe.org or at your local Circuit Court Clerk’s office.” Lindsey Westenhofer Eleanor’s Mother Louisville, KY (Jefferson)
KENTUCKY ORGAN DONOR AFFILIATES & KENTUCKY CIRCUIT COURT CLERKS’ TRUST FOR LIFE KENTUCKY SENATE BILL 77 PASSED UNANIMOUSLY
Bill to expand the Commonwealth’s Organ Donor Registration sponsored by Kentucky State Senator Julie Raque Adams (Louisville, KY- February 6, 2019) – Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) and Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life are thrilled to announce Kentucky Senate Bill 77 passed unanimously out of the Senate Health and Welfare Committeethis morning. This groundbreaking bill will amend KRS 311.1947 to expand organ donor registration to the Commonwealth's single sign-on system and will become effective January 1, 2020. KODA and Trust For Life have worked extensively with Senator Julie Raque Adams on this bill to grow the Donor Registry. The new 8-year Kentucky driver’s license impact on the Registry had put the number of registrations at serious risk. Currently Circuit Clerks see about 1 million people per year and with the longer renewal cycle, that number could have dropped in half. “We are absolutely elated by the senate’s vote this morning, which firmly cement’s Kentucky’s status as a leader on behalf of organ and tissue donation,” states Shelley Snyder, Executive Director, Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life. “The passage of this bill is the first in the U.S to create a portal to a registry in this manner. And we’re especially grateful to Senator Adams for her sponsorship of SB77, along with her dedication and drive surrounding the importance of an issue which affects so many men, women and children in need.” ### Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates mission is to provide organ and tissues to those in need and to maintain a profound respect for those who gave. For more information visit kyorgandonor.org. The mission of theKentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life is to inform, educate, and encourage Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors to save lives. For more information visit trustforlife.org. These two nonprofits partner closely to educate and improve the lives of Kentuckians through organ donation and transplantation.