/ by UK HealthCare
Written by Dr. Navin Rajagopalan, medical director of heart transplantation at UK HealthCare.
Thanks to advances in medicine and technology, patients who have heart failure are living longer now than in years past.
For those patients who do not respond to conventional therapies, newer mechanical devices, such as left ventricular assist devices, or LVADs, have helped save the lives of patients with end-stage heart failure. Heart transplantation remains a viable option for these patients as well, but is limited due to the scarcity of organ donors.
For patients who are able to get a heart transplant, it’s a life-changing event. But the fact remains: There are not enough donor hearts available for every patient who needs one.
More than 3,000 people in the U.S. received heart transplants in 2017. Unfortunately, an additional 4,000 people are still waiting. That’s why National Donate Life Month is so important: By encouraging people to sign up to become organ donors, we are literally saving lives.
This month, I encourage everyone to learn more about organ donation. If you’re not already an organ donor, but are interested in becoming one, get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about donation.
For example, did you know that you can sign up to be an organ donor regardless of your age or medical history? It’s true!
When someone becomes an organ donor, they are giving the gift of life to another person. A person just like Joseph Madison. Joseph was dying of heart failure and needed a new heart. He got one here at UK HealthCare, and today he’s back on his feet, spending time with his daughter and enjoying his life.
“I would just tell my donor, ‘Thank you, and God bless you,’” Joseph said recently.
Stories like Joseph’s – stories of second chances and transformed lives – are what happens when people choose to become organ donors.
Become an organ donor by joining the Organ Donor Registry. You can do this at the DMV when you renew your driver’s license, or you can join online anytime at donatelifeky.org.
- The UK Transplant Center’s heart transplant program offers comprehensive care for patients with end-stage heart failure.
- Listen to an interview with Elaine Milem, patient services advocate at the UK Transplant Center, and Gretchen Starnes, the family aftercare manager at Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA), where they discuss the importance of organ donation and what it means for donors and families.
UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital - Pavilion GFirst Floor, Suite G100,Gill Heart & Vascular InstituteFax: 859-257-7402800 Rose St.
Lexington KY 40536