Have a Heart? Be an Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donor. | Sign-up to Be a Donor »
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.
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.
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.
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. Ofthe 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.
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 anO and I'm an A positive. So I continued to pray that God would bring the perfect kidney for my Dad!
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!
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 oneof those."