Saturday, September 21, 2019

A Rare 3 Organ Transplant for a California Man

At the edge of life’s trials, all we can hold on to is hope. Appreciating the value of life every moment we see a new dawn.  This is the reality of a life of broken expectations, and in this context, when the body fails. When a disease takes and what it has taken can’t be repaired only replaced.

A California man was at the edge but kept hope, waiting, and trusting that all would be okay.  Wayne Darrington, 57 years old, 20 years ago began having trouble breathing. It was indeed a trying time for Darren and his wife. His wife testifies that whenever he arrived home, it would take him up to 20 minutes to get to the front door.

He was diagnosed with amyloidosis after a lung biopsy. This is a hereditary condition that causes organs to fail after a buildup of abnormal proteins in them. The condition is so bad that it has no cure, and the only way out is an organ transplant.

Darren’s most trying time was last year May when he was admitted to the ER. His heart, lungs, and kidney were at the verge of failure. He was at the hospital bed for at least four months, but he still held on, hoping that one day he would leave the hospital and be reunited with his family again.

“The most profound thing was that he was to receive a heart, two lungs, and a kidney from the same donor.”

And in the waiting, on a beaming Wednesday, the family found relief. The family’s longing for the life they once knew was almost being fulfilled.  He received a call that an organ donor had been found. The most profound thing was that he was to receive a heart, two lungs, and a kidney from the same donor.

Dr. Abbas Ardehali (UCLA School of Medicine) reported that such procedures were rare, and only a handful are witnessed every year in the country. Dr. Abbas performed part of Wayne’s rare triple transplant and confirmed the vital role of organ donations in saving lives. 

He confessed that indeed if it were not for the generosity of donors at a time of tragedy, what he and his associates do on a daily basis, would not even be possible.

Wayne was very grateful to the donor family and especially the donor. He expressed this in a letter he wrote to the donor family, showing his appreciation to the sacrifice and love shown to him by the door and his family. Wayne only knew little about his donor but given a chance, he would have loved to know more.

Organ donation remains to be one of the greatest show of love. Where at the end of one’s life is one’s last act of selflessness, a true celebration of the sanctity of life. A fulfilled life for another life yet to be fully lived.

Wayne takes up to 30 pills every day to prevent his body from rejecting the new organs he received. Something he does gladly. He hopes to meet the donor’s family face to face one day to express gratitude for his new life.

Nelson O. Freytes
Nelson O. Freytes
Nelson received a liver transplant over 20 years ago due to fulminant liver failure, caused by thyroid medication. A few years after his transplant, Nelson set out to build a ‘next-level’ social network for the transplant community and started Transplant Cafe, and most recently Transplant News.

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