Kim's family was every thing to her, especially when she was in the hospital for about six months waiting for a heart transplant.

Kim’s family has always been important to her, but they became even more significant to me when she was in the hospital waiting for a heart transplant.  As days grew into weeks, and the weeks into months, they established a visiting schedule. It became a ritual that was not interrupted.  They each had their own individual time with her; they made sure that their time was sacred. They were no longer one large family unit, all together as a band, but just individuals, getting to know each other one on one.

After six months in the hospital waiting, on July 2, 2002, three of Kim’s favorite nurses walked into her room and told her there was a possible heart available. Kim says she cannot express the feelings she had at that moment. Within an hour, she was surrounding by her family as she was prepped for surgery. All she could think of was the donor family, a family that was saying goodbye.

Now that she has gone through the life-altering experience of having a heart transplant, she appreciates every day. She sees the good in people and sees the bright side of everything.  Because she was sick for so long, there were many things she was unable to do.  She made a list called “My Heart’s Desire” of things to accomplish after the transplant.  They included swimming with dolphins, running up a flight of stairs, not being tired all the time, and talking to everyone about organ donation.  She never care about waiting in lines or waiting for an appointment.  She loves the summer heat, the spring rain, the fall leaves and the winter snowfall.  She is a volunteer for two organizations that are very near to her heart and spreads the word about organ donation to anyone that will listen, and even those that will not.  She had the amazing experience of meeting her donor’s mom and she called Kim her daughter.

Kim is grateful to her donor for allowing her to get up every morning and being glad to be alive.


The stories of our donor and recipient families are powerful, moving celebrations of life, hope, and love that get to the heart of why we do what we do, and the difference we can all make. Lifebanc believes that anyone can be a hero – and we see it every day in the generous decisions of people and families who choose and support organ and tissue donation. We’d like you to meet some of these heroes, and some of the Northeast Ohio neighbors they are helping.

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