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Be Well

Patient Postcard: Andrea’s Story

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 2:43 PM

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At any given time, over 100,000 people in the United States are waiting for live-saving transplants. On average each day, 18 of them die. There are simply not enough organs to meet the demand. In the following segment, 47-year-old Andrea Coleman, a school teacher from New York, offers her reflections about receiving a double lung transplant at the Cleveland Clinic.

Andrea Coleman: I was getting sicker and sicker and they didn’t think – honestly, they didn’t think I would see another birthday. It was that bad.

It was definitely, when I got the call – it was a miracle. The wait was finished and you couldn’t believe they finally, finally called you. That you’d be going to the hospital and they’re going to prep you. You’re going in for a second chance and you’ll be coming out breathing on your own – no oxygen. You’re willing to take what every chance you have to take.

You sign on for the long haul. You realize they haven’t been doing lung transplants for that long. It’s basically a guessing game with the medicines. They start off giving everyone the same thing.  And sometimes the medicine can bring on more not less things. But you’re willing to take that chance because you’re not ready to go yet.

We are extremely grateful when you make that decision to donate an organ or tissue. That you’re giving somebody a second chance at life. And they want it – they want that second chance.

It’s really a gift – another gift of life. And if you are faithful, I would say that’s what God wanted us to do is to save your brother and sister anyway you can.

“With your second chance you know what you have to do.”

Honor it by doing good to others. And spread the word. My doctors tell me make sure to tell people – donate, donate, donate.

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Health, Lifegiving Transplant Stories

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Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation The Cleveland Foundation The Community Foundation of Lorain County The McGregor Foundation The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation The Woodruff Foundation