April is National Donate Life Month. In a typical year, The University of Virginia Hospital’s pediatric heart transplant team gives new hearts to about one to four children, but in the first few months of 2013 alone the team had already completed four heart transplants on children ages four to eleven years old. One such patient was eleven-year-old Chase Tasker, whose story was highlighted by NBC29 earlier this month. Chase was playing point guard for his basketball team one day, and at the hospital the next. His case was unusually fast moving and his heart had enlarged to three times its size. Chase’s mother said that one difficult part of the organ transplant process was knowing that “someone else had to lose someone they loved in order to save my child.” The transplant was successful and Chase is expected to make a full recovery.
Doctors say that the greatest limit on giving organs to those in need is the number of organs available and that becoming an organ donor is a great way to pass life on to a person in need. If you would like to sign up to be an organ donor, you can do so at donatelifevirginia.org, you can register the next time you renew your driver’s license, or you can visit one of the Donate to Life events, including the UVA transplant table during the UVA vs. Duke basketball game on May 10th.
Filed Under: Features