Gracie’s Gift

Gracie’s back – her story has a happy ending, thankfully. It wasn’t that long ago that we were all pulling for her after we thought that a heart transplant had come through for her. But something went wrong; the donor heart never functioned correctly. And after fighting the good fight, her parents decided to let Gracie slip away rather than “live” hooked to monitors and machines.

Before she passed, the doctors and nurses spoke to Gracie’s parents about organ donation. Yes, Gracie’s heart was useless, but her other organs were functional and could help someone. Her parents agreed.

The doctors were able to remove her liver and both kidneys and had potential recipients for both. The liver transplant fell through, but the kidneys were accepted. According to Gracie’s website,

Gracie Jean’s kidneys were given to a 49-year old California woman. She has a 12-year-old son. She teaches at the YMCA. She has a brother she is very close to, as well as friends and family from whom she receives a lot of support. She attends a dance class 2-3 times a week; she swims and does stair walking for exercise. She is doing well with her recovery.

If you’ve never signed up for Organ Donation, please consider doing so. As you can see, even those of us with a Heart Defect can donate – our hearts may be bad and our circulatory systems may be screwed up, but if our other organs are functional there is no reason that they can’t be used. Even though Gracie’s gone, her kidneys allow a 12 year old boy to have more time with his mom.

Update: Received a twitter message about a young man named Sheperd, who is four days old and has a VSD and Coarctation of the Aorta. He’s in the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill hospital, and surgeons are going to try to repair that hole and fix his Aorta in the morning. Keep this little one in your thoughts tonight!

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2 Responses to “Gracie’s Gift”

  1. Kelly Says:

    Sent a message to Shepherd’s Momma via her blog if she wants to talk to a fellow CoA repair Momma, I’m available. Will pray, pray, pray.
    Also, if you can help me Steve, I’ve consulted Boston(in addition to our great Miami folks) on JBR’s anomalous right coronary artery (we know where it begins…can’t see where it’s going….left is enlarged and doing the work.) I’m wondering if you know of a site that explains the various treatments. The majority opinion is to “wait and see.” I am not too keen on waiting for a major issue…..or seeing a sudden infarction. The folks who studied in College and med school (not Reese and I) are hesitant to do a cath due to blood clot issues in the femoral arteries. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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