Valley Organ Donor Made History

April is National Donate Life Month, but each week three Virginians die waiting for a life-saving organ transplant that doesn't come in time.
One that did come in time, took place this week, seven years ago.
Rockingham County artist Ken Schuler made history in 1999, becoming part of the first stranger to stranger live organ transplant.
He saw a story on TV-3 of a father raising money and looking for a liver donor for his daughter.
"I just put myself in his shoes, Schuler said. "I had a daughter 20 years old at the time and I thought well, if I was in that need I'd want somebody to help me so I just picked up the phone, called, and the rest is history."
A liver can re-grow, so in donating part of his, the livers grew back for both of them.
"If you donate an organ when you're alive to somebody else and you save their life, that will change you more than it will change them," he said.
But with more than two thousand Virginians waiting for an organ transplant, more live and deceased donors are needed.
Mary Kyger, a Nursing Coordinator at Rockingham Memorial Hospital says, "I think the biggest drawback the families have is the fear, of mutiliation. But they should not fear that aspect of it because it is done with the utmost dignity and respect to the deceased. And the people if they choose to can still have an open casket."
You can sign up as an organ donor at the D.M.V. or online at save7lives.org.
For more information call LifeNet at 804-521-1908.


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