Transplant recipients, organ donor families recognized during volunteer appreciation day

Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 6:26 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 25, 2021 at 6:37 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Many are aware of organ donation through a sticker on their driver’s license, but a lot of people don’t often see the impact organ donation has on families.

On Saturday, a local organization helping to find and procure organ donations for those in need gave appreciation to organ donor families and donor recipients at the Louisville Zoo.

Members of Donate Life KY brought their ambassadors and families affected by organ donation to share information and awareness on an act that can save lives.

Monica Brown, a transplant recipient and survivor, said she had been training for the miniMarathon back in 2016 and had suffered a heart attack on her way home from the gym.

“Two days later I had my second heart attack, and I crashed,” Brown said. “They actually had to put the paddles on me and bring me back. That ultimately sent me into heart failure.”

Brown was placed on a list to receive a new heart six months later.

“I really didn’t have time to grasp it all, when they initially sent me to the heart failure clinic,” Brown said. “They said there was nothing else they could do for me.”

She was eventually transferred to Lexington, where she received a heart transplant in July of that year. She said she was grateful, saying that “even in our dying, there’s purpose.”

“I would hope that the donor family gets peace in knowing that they’ve given life to someone,” Brown said. “And every day I strive to bring honor to that, in all my giving and doing and serving. So I am an ambassador as well.”

Donate Life KY said more than 1,000 people in Kentucky are currently in need of a lifesaving transplant. For more information and how you can register to become an organ donor, visit Donate Life KY’s website.

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