People come out in droves to remember organ donors and recipient - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

People come out in droves to remember organ donors and recipients


Donate life day, a time to think about new beginnings, some more recent than others.

"As of this past Sunday on Easter morning our miracle arrived," Rick Byers said. "My wife got her heart and liver transplant."

Byers and his wife Tina waited for 160 days. 

Light speed compared to others.

"I waited 6 years and I finally got it on March 8th and 9th and I got a heart and kidney," Anthony Rooks said. "Everything went good."

But no matter the stretch of time, Everyone there understood the struggle. 

"It feels good to be around other people who are going through what I'm going through," Rooks said.

Because for many, organ donation is the only option.

"When we came up for the evaluation, there was an option to go back home with some medicine and they said you'll probably be five years plus waiting on that medicine and we don't think you'll fare well on that," Byers said.

For the people there, organ donation is more than just a medical procedure.

It's another chance at life. 
"Every single person that you see surrounding us, hearing their stories, listening to them, talking to them when they have good news or bad news, it touches every part of your body, it does not just touch your heart," Ginger Holmes, Executive Director of the Gift of Life Transplant House, said.

And though it may not be her original heart, Rick's love for his wife has only grown stronger.

"I'm really pleased that I can be here with her."

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