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One Organ Donor, Seven Recipients

New York Times article highlights transplant donor and recipients at New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Organ Donation Checkbox

UK NHS Organ Donation Checkbox

As organ transplantation has advanced and improved in recent decades, more and more patients’ lives are saved every year. But the most pressing problem in organ transplantation has yet to be solved: the shortage of donor organs available to the thousands of people waiting on lists for a new kidney, liver, lung, heart, or other organ. People who intend to donate may not indicate their wishes to family members before their death, or families are reluctant to make that decision in the midst of profound grief and loss. For others, donating an organ was just never something they knew much about or even considered.

When they do choose to donate a loved one’s organs, families usually remain anonymous, as do those whose lives they save. Perhaps that is why articles like the one in the New York Times on May 16, 2011, touch and inspire readers so deeply. This version of an increasingly common story captures the essential soul-searching, as well as the profound gratitude, hope, and solace, that marked the meeting of Mirtala Garcia and the people who received her husband’s organs.

After his sudden death by a brain hemorrhage, transplant surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital transplanted Julio Garcia’s heart, both kidneys, pancreas, liver (divided to save one adult and one child), one lung, and his corneas — saving seven lives and restoring sight to another.

Read the full story: One Death Provides New Life for Many.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center is one of the nation’s foremost centers for transplantation of the heart, lung, kidney, pancreas, liver, and abdominal organs. For information, visit and see Surgical Specialties.

*This blog post was originally published at Columbia University Department of Surgery Blog*

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