3 Empowering Lessons Our Transplant Patients Have Taught Us

Organ transplantation is a necessary surgery for more than 20,000 Americans each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.  While preparation, surgery and healing is undoubtedly overwhelming, the profound emotional ride can be just as intense for transplant patients.

We believe that the experiences of our transplant patients make them experts in the eyes of others facing similar health battles. Here are three things that our transplant patients have taught us:

#1. Life is a gift.

“When your life is threatened, you realize there are a lot of things on a day-to-day basis to celebrate, whether it’s people you love, or the place where you live, or the birds. Everything.” – Jim Orr

“I just want to go out and do and see as much as possible while I’m feeling well. The time we have today is not guaranteed tomorrow.” – David Weber

“I’m so grateful to the UC Health staff and the new gift of life they provided me.” – John Snow


#2. Keep fighting. It will be worth it.

“I am a whole new person. I have been very blessed with a new kidney and liver. It was a new procedure that was done here. I looked at Dr. Shah and said, ‘Mimi needs a liver,’ and I said that’s the most important thing to me is my grandchildren—that they would know their grandmother. – Cathy Caldwell

“I learned you mean the world to me. You always have, but through this experience, I want to be a part of your life now more than ever.” – Carol Waits, wife of David Waits.

“I’m glad I kept fighting.” – David Waits 


#3. Awareness is the greatest agent for change.

“I vowed to myself that my story would not go in vain. Neither the story of the person who gave the ultimate sacrifice for me to live again. Me being a resident of Avondale, and I see this on a daily basis, I go to the corner stores, I go to Family Dollar and I see the condition that the neighbors are in …  It’s a food desert. It has one of the highest mortality rates and one of the lowest life expectancy rates. We need to change that so that’s why I’m taking a proactive approach to reach the kids of Avondale as well as many of the adults that don’t know either.” – Idris Gray

“By publicly sharing my experience, I hope to increase organ donation awareness. Through LifeCenter, the organ procurement organization here in Cincinnati, I hope to get the word out to the public about the importance of organ donation.” – E. Steve Woodle, MD


Now We Join in Celebration

As we celebrate 50 years of providing excellence in transplantation, breakthrough treatments and compassionate coordination of care to the region, we invite you to join us in a 50-day countdown to the anniversary of the first surgery that launched Cincinnati’s most comprehensive transplant program.

Celebrate with us by sharing our stories of transplantation with your social media network using #UCHealthTransplant via FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

For more information about UC Health transplant services, please visit uchealth.com/transplant.