Monday, 6 August 2007

Organ donor family seeks a miracle

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Nearly 20 years ago I signed the back of my drivers license to approve my organs for donation. Hearing this story about a Wisconsin family is one more affirmation of my signature. When it comes to diabetes and kidney problems, Lorna Burns Hager says her family is jinxed. Hager has diabetes and was born with one kidney. Her brother died from diabetes complications and kidney failure. Two of her four children were also born with one kidney and developed diabetes. Rough stuff.

This past Friday, Wisconsin's Governor Jim Doyle honored Hager with the Gift of Life medal of honor for donating her daughter Kelly's two kidneys after she died last year. Kelly was profoundly mentally disabled, and Hager is confident Kelly is living a better life than ever before through the successful kidney transplants to anonymous recipients. At one point, Hager hoped one of Kelly's kidneys could help her son, Mike, who has needed a kidney transplant for over a year. But physicians ruled out that option -- while the story does not elaborate, I'm just guessing they were not a match.

In all their pain, the Hagers did receive a miracle in 2000. Daughter Shannon received a kidney and partial pancreas transplant from a living donor, Hager's ex-husband's brother. This generous man is doing fine and stated nobody believes he donated a kidney since he bears no scars. I had no idea living donor donations are done laparoscopically.

The Hager family has received and given organs. Now they are seeking a hero with type B or type O blood to donate a kidney for Mike. I hope they receive a second miracle. Read more in The Capital Times. Graphic by www.transplantweek.org.

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