Dads Are Special. Especially Those Fathers Whose Lives Have Been Impacted By Organ, Eye, And Tissue Donation.
PAUL WITZIGREUTER – LIVING KIDNEY DONOR
Father’s Day is a special day for every father, but it has a whole new meaning for those who have given the gift of life to their child.
Paul Witzigreuter was born with Biliary Artesia and many other health issues. Before the age of two, he received a liver transplant and his mom, Amy was his living donor. Six years later his kidneys failed. Dan Witzigreuter, Paul’s father, was a match and gave him one of his kidney’s. Since the transplant, both Dan and Paul are healthy and happy thanks to the gift of life!
When asked about the donation experience, Dan smiles and says, “There is no better feeling than knowing you saved your child’s life.”
KEVIN MONROE – FATHER OF RECIPIENTS
How does any parent deal with not one – but two daughters needing a heart transplant to survive?
Father to Patrice and Candice, watched both daughters diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and go through the process for a heart transplant. Sadly, Patrice passed away after 23 years given to her by two heart donors. Candice continues to thrive and is doing well with her gift of life, this year celebrating the 17th anniversary of the transplant.
Kevin said “It was difficult to watch my children grow sicker and sicker. We never thought after Patrice had to have a transplant, that our second daughter, Candice would need one as well. My wife and I feel blessed that heart transplantation was available to save their lives.”
A twist to this story is that Kevin, who has been dealing with cardiomyopathy since 1999, is now on the waiting list for a heart transplant.
MATTHEW KITTLE – DONOR FATHER
Matt and his wife, Elena were thrilled to learn their first child would be a girl, Evelyn Grace. But partway through the pregnancy, the couple learned that Evie had two congenital defects that impacted her lungs and heart. Evie was carried to term and was born on April 4, 2015, weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces. She looked perfect, but her heart and lungs only kept the beautiful baby girl alive for 58 minutes.
The birth defects affected her heart and lungs.
Matt says “I am incredibly grateful that Evie made me a father. Her journey through donation is a daily reminder to be the best father and husband I can be and that we can all change others’ lives.”
Matt and Elena have been blessed with two more children, Thomas and Eleanor but in their hearts, they make every day for Evie.