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Donate Life Nebraska

Real stories about organ, eye and tissue donation in Nebraska.

Easton's Story

Easton2Easton was born at 33 weeks on June 23, 2013 weighing 4lbs, 4oz and 17 ¼ inches long via emergency c-section. Easton was born with several complicated medical issues including an imperforate anus requiring his first surgery to get a colostomy bag when he was just a few hours old. He was also born with penol scrotol transposition, and a hernia. A couple weeks after he was born and while he was still in the NICU his potassium got way too high, it was scary. He had to have another surgery to get a Peritoneal Dialysis Catheter placed. They started dialysis on him right away and he was on it continuous for dialysis for 24 hours, and that's all he needed. His labs starting looking better every day and he was finally drinking all of his bottles. It was a wonderful feeling. Easton was in the NICU for 6 weeks and was finally discharged to go home on August 2, 2013.

Easton went home with no feeding tube, no dialysis (only the catheter), and only on a few meds. Initially, he did so well at home! We made sure he ate every 4 hours and drank a certain amount in a certain time or we would need to take him in. He also needed his medicine every 3 hours. We were busy, that's for sure but it was so worth it to have him home! The doctor even considered taking out his Peritoneal dialysis catheter since he wasn't using it and there was a good chance it could have gotten infected.EastonMomDad

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Lisa J's Story

LisaJohnsonMy story begins at birth when I was diagnosed with a disease known as Congenital Glaucoma. This left me without sight in my left eye, and with almost no sight in my right eye. My family tried to seek a cure for my blindness and over the course of my childhood, had more than two dozen surgeries to try to give me some sight. I never wanted my blindness to define me, however, and so I committed myself to accomplishing all that I wanted to do regardless of having vision. I learned to use Braille, walk with a cane and use other computer technology to assist me in school. I graduated from high school with honors and enrolled in college to become a teacher. While my life was not without challenges, I worked hard to make my dreams come true.

I feel that God has blessed my life in so many ways, one of which came in 2001 when I was introduced to a doctor who thought that a cornea transplant might help me gain some sight. I was overwhelmed by the possibility. So, in June of 2001 I underwent a cornea transplant in my right eye. Unfortunately, the surgery was not a success. I was disappointed but the doctor wasn't about to give up. I went onto a waiting list for a transplant in January of 2002 and on May 7, 2002, I got the call that a cornea was available. I remember, so vividly what it was like when I was able to take the patch off for the first time. Everything was so bright. While it takes months to fully recover from a cornea transplant and everything was blurry, I could see someone next to me. The voice said, "Can you see me?" and I could, it was my mother. It was the first time I saw the face of another human being clearly.

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Jan's Story

I have not met the heroes in my life, but I live everyday with them under my heart.

Twenty five years ago, I struggled to make it through each day. Diabetes had severely compromised my kidney function and eyesight.  I was waiting for a miracle so I could become productive again.Jan Moore

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Chris Steinbach’s Story

My dad died of a heart attack at age 57, which maybe should have been a clue that I might face heart issues in the future.  And, sure enough, in 1980 I had a quadruple heart bypass. After more heart surgery in 1986, I was told that I needed a heart transplant. My cardiologist attempted to schedule an evaluation at Stanford in California, but I was turned down due to my age of 61 years. (At that time, Stanford had a cutoff age of 59.) However, on April 9, 1987 my wife Judy and I packed two small suitcases and flew to Salt Lake City for an evaluation.  The good news was that I was accepted, but I was entirely too sick to return home.ChrisandJudySteinback

At that point I was put on oxygen to begin my wait for a heart transplant. We found an apartment in a complex that had several other potential heart transplant recipients. My condition continued to worsen, making the six week wait seem like an eternity, however in retrospect I was exceedingly fortunate that a heart became available in such a short time. On Memorial Day we were called to the L.D.S. Hospital, where I was transplanted with the donated heart of a 17 year old young man. Our summer was spent with doctor appointments, many heat biopsies, lots of walking, and becoming acquainted with the other people in the complex who had received transplants or were still waiting. At the end of August, the Director of the Transplant Program released me to return home to Council Bluffs, IA. I asked him for a "guarantee" for my new heart, to which he replied "There are no guarantees in life, but your new heart will outlast the rest of your old body!!!"

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Femi's Story

FemiMy name is Sonia and I am Femi's mother. The love and faithfulness of God is true and has been proven many times to our family. After God brought us into the United States from Benin, a small country in West Africa, Femi was diagnosed with congenital heart disease in 2013 at Children's Hospital & Medical Center – Omaha. She needed a heart transplant. The decision to get a heart transplant without any delay came up after Femi passed out the second time. It was very hard for our family to believe in such a thing, but as Christian believers, we know that Our Lord Jesus can heal her, for He has been always faithful to us throughout our journey with Him. We strongly believed in His miraculous healing and we first stepped out in faith from the hospital without putting her on the transplant list, fasting and praying throughout churches,
and everyone who heard her history for the supernatural work of the Lord. When the time came for God to glorify Himself through her servant, HE used HIS way to do the miracle we all were waiting for.

A year after her diagnosis, we trusted God and added Femi to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) national list. At that time she was an outpatient, and the doctor said that as an outpatient it could take 6 months to a year to get her new heart, because there were many other kids across the country waiting in the hospital to get an organ at that time. Only six days after putting her on the list, we received a phone call that an organ was ready for her. That day, we were watching the air show at Offutt AFB south of downtown Omaha in Bellevue, Nebraska. I personally did not believe that Godwill heal her through another person's organ. All my expectation was in Jesus'
supernatural healing. I understood and believed after that day, that God is truly limitless and HIS ways are not our ways. Within 3 hours after the phone call, we were at Children's. The Lord provided a new healthy heart for Femi. The surgery took over 8 hours and went successfully by God's grace.

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Todd Family Story


 

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The Van Asperen Family's Story


Update on Dawson - June 2015

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Amber's Story

Amber

 When I was 7 years old, my family found out that one of my kidneys never developed from birth and the other was badly scarred from recurrent infections. We were told at that point that, as I grew, my kidney wouldn't be able to keep up and I'd eventually need a transplant. That day came when I was 15, when I was told I had 25% kidney function and needed to get listed for transplant. Thankfully, my mom was a match and gave me her kidney a couple of months later. Her kidney lasted 8 years before I was once again facing dialysis or transplant.

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Elliot's Story

 

Elliot 3

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Lisa's Story


I was diagnosed as an infant with cystic fibrosis (CF). CF is a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and pancreas. It causes progressive lung damage and can lead to life-threatening lung infections. Many people with CF have to go into the hospital for several weeks at a time several times a year for intravenous antibiotics. Prior to my transplant, I was admitted to the hospital every couple of months for 2 to 3 weeks at a time to treat lung infections. When I was born, the average life-span was 10 years old.

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Lainey's Story

Our family consists of my husband Jeff, our 4-year-old son Keygan, and our 18- month-old daughter Lainey. I was about 5 months along in my pregnancy with Lainey when the doctor noticed problems with our baby's heart. My OB-gyn sent us to two specialists. Each doctor saw something different and at each appointment it seemed as though another deformity was identified. The cardiologists and heart surgeon recorded multiple ultrasounds and showed them at their group patient care conference. Until the day my baby girl was born they had many different ideas about what exactly was wrong with her heart. The first echocardiogram after Lainey's birth confirmed the diagnosis.LaineyFamily

The main two deformities that they identified were Ebstein's Anomaly (a congenital defect in the tricuspid valve on the right side of the heart) and Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (a congenital defect where the left side of the heart is underdeveloped and can't effectively pump blood to the body). One specialist told us that if these two things were actually present that, most likely, they couldn't do anything for her. Three days after her birth they had us sign papers to put her on the heart transplant list.

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CJ Shafer – A Donor Family’s Story

CJ, our son and brother, left us way too soon on May 29th, 2002 at the young age of 21. CJ was always a caring person who constantly went out of his way to help people in need.CJ Shafer

This continued on upon his passing in 2002. He was a donor to 9 different individuals. His heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, and pancreas were all able to be donated. Of
the 9 individuals that received CJ's organs we have been told that 8 are still living. This speaks volumes of CJ living on in on others with his organs and continuing to help people. We are so proud of his decision and willingness to have become an organ donor.

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Peggy’s Story – A Living Kidney Donor’s View

My Dad, Mel Hinrichs, had been on dialysis for about a year and a half, due to Wegener's disease – which had damaged his kidneys. He needed a kidney transplant, so in June of 2010, I went in to see if I would be a match for my Dad. I found out that I was a tissue match, but not a blood match. My Dad is an
O and I'm an A positive. So I continued to pray that God would bring the perfect kidney for my Dad! Mel H

In January 2011, The Nebraska Medical Center called and said they thought they could manipulate my dad's blood to accept a different blood type....so I proceeded with all the testing to make sure that I could donate, and everything was a go! So on March 23, 2011 my Dad and I went to the Med Center for the transplant!

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Macy's Story

Macy

Macy's Story shared by Macy's Mom, Karen

Dec 2, 2008. St. Louis, Missouri......

What is that noise? Where is it coming from? As I looked through the store to see if anyone was answering their phone I realized the sound was coming from me. The pager in my purse was chirping. I looked down and scanned my phone, but there were no missed calls. Huh? The sound came again. The chirping brought attention from a few of the other shoppers in the Gap store I stood in. Their looks said it all, "A pager? Really? I didn't think anyone still had one
of those."

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Jake's Story

jake tejas

Update:

Jake Holscher is preparing to embark on a grueling 3,000 mile bike ride, Race Across America, June 10-22, and will use this challenging event as an opportunity to promote organ donation and honor his mother, Louise Holcher,... and his friend, Garrett Schlichtemeier, who were both organ donors from his hometown of Ogallala, NE. Contestants have only 288 hours to race from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD.

Chadron State College, where he graduated, ran this story on his upcoming adventure: Click Here

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The Eisenmann Family

Eisenmann Family 2The Eisenmann Family(Laura, Doug, Josh 6, Justin 4, Kara 22 mos)

Justin

We were so excited when we heard the news that we were expecting our second child.   The pregnancy went well and we were patiently waiting the birth of our child.  Three weeks before our due date, the family got a common virus.b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC06088-225x300.jpgJustin doing physical therapy with his external Berlin heart, waiting for donor heart.

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Brenda and Raquel's Story


Brenda (Mother): In 1983, I was diagnosed with hypertension and learned that my kidneys were functioning at 80%. Eventually, the uncontrolled hypertension caused my kidneys to completely fail. I started dialysis in 1997, and was on three day a week, four hour treatments for years.

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Richard's Story


Prior to my transplant, everything was fine, except for reading. I was not able to read very well and needed a lot of light. My golf score had nothing to do with my poor eyesight, however, I was able to use it as a handy excuse! Thankfully, there was no waiting time for my transplant. Dr. Peters set a date for me to go to the office where the procedure would take place. The surgery was somewhat uncomfortable, but what surgery isn't? Dr. Peters and his staff were outstanding - before, during, and after all was done. I just followed instructions.

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Allison H's Story


I was born with Gastroschisis, a condition in which half of my intestines were on the outside of my body. After failed attempts to gain blood flow back to that section of the bowel, it had to be removed since it was considered dead bowel. This resulted in a diagnosis of Short Bowel Syndrome.

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Sean's Story


March 2015 Update: 

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