Posted by Memorial Health | Posted in Transplant | Posted on 19-09-2013
When Tammy Smith, a 48-year-old Dalton City resident, was diagnosed with diabetes at age 14, doctors weren’t certain what might have caused her illness.
“I remember the doctors were a little vague,” Tammy said. “I was told my diabetes could have been caused by a virus, or even a type of immune deficiency disease. It was just something I had to deal with.”
Fast forward about 30 years. Tammy grew up, married and had four children, one of whom passed away in childhood. She went through a divorce, then married a man with four boys of his own. Together, they raised their combined family in a little house in Dalton City. Everything seemed normal.
“We had company coming over for the weekend, and I asked if this couldn’t wait until Monday. My doctor said if you wait until Monday, you’ll probably be dead.”
Don Stuckey, 59, of Beecher City, a small community southeast of Springfield, remembers those words as if they were yesterday instead of three years ago.
“I was having trouble sleeping,” Don recalled. “I was up and down a lot at night, but I figured that was just old age. One week, I only slept about four hours the entire week. I went to the doctor and asked for some sleeping pills. He said OK, but told me to have a blood test before I left.”
“That was a Thursday,” Don said. “The next morning the doctor called to say something was wrong with my test and to come back in for another blood test. Early that afternoon, I got another call and was told to get to the hospital immediately.” Read the rest of this entry »
How often do we hear numbers associated with a concept so incredible we can hardly fully comprehend the weight of what those numbers truly mean?
Numbers like 103,000 people waiting for a kidney; 1,219 days to wait for a kidney; 840 transplant surgeries.
Each one of these numbers, and those shown in the infographic below, is more than just a number; it’s a reminder that a person is waiting for a chance at a normal life again. Each number represents a person patiently waiting for the phone call that they have a match, or a family wanting to enjoy life with their loved one again, or a mother or father needing to be actively present for their child. Memorial Medical Center Transplant Services makes that difference in the lives of these people every year.
As you read through these numbers, remember that these numbers represent real life–people who are patiently waiting, generous donors who so unselfishly give life to another, and talented surgeons who can restore quality of life.
When Billy Ruyle could not sign his name at work or even grasp the pen, he realized he had a problem that was bigger than just a cold.
Billy grew up in a small town, just south of Springfield. After high school, Billy married “the most amazing wife” and together they had three boys and one girl and now have lots of grandkids. He worked as a full-time truck driver until just a few years ago when he took a part-time job hauling beans in Waverly.
“There is a lot of dust when you haul beans. At first, I thought I caught some sort of cold from the dust, and I just kept getting weaker and weaker,” he said. “I should have stopped working right then, but I didn’t because there was a job to finish.”
Posted by Memorial Health | Posted in Transplant | Posted on 13-09-2012
"Team Greg Oest" Team Captain is Joleen Oest (wife of Greg), sitting on rock with kids on lap. They raised over $600!
Bolstered by a record-setting 501 people registered, the annual 5K run/walk to benefit the Alan G. Birtch, MD, Center for Transplant Services at Memorial raised nearly $9,000 last Saturday.
The eighth annual event was held in Springfield’s Washington Park on Sept. 8. Bill Coon, a double heart transplant and kidney transplant recipient, shared his inspiring story before the event began. A local band, The Fireside Relics, kept the mood festive.
“Once again, the community has so generously shown their support for our transplant program,” said Sara Danner, Memorial’s transplant financial coordinator and chair of this year’s 5K. “This year was another successful event with beautiful weather and a very large crowd.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Memorial Health | Posted in Transplant | Posted on 19-04-2012
Christina Geisler and her mother, Kathy Geisler
At just 20 years old, Christina Geisler needed a kidney transplant.
It started in late 2010 when the Gillespie native noticed her urine was discolored. In January 2011, she was rushed to the hospital and immediately went on dialysis. She was later diagnosed with Goodpasture’s syndrome, a rare disease where your antibodies attack the kidneys and lungs.
“I lost 20 pounds in no time at all,” she said. “At one point, I just ate ice. It was awful.”
Her mother, 59-year-old Kathy Geisler, decided to donate one of her kidneys once the doctors realized Christina’s own kidney function would not return.
For nearly 40 years, the kidney and pancreas transplant program at Memorial Medical Center has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of patients and their loved ones, and on Dec. 26, the team celebrated a significant milestone when it performed its 800th organ transplant.
The organ — a kidney — was offered on Christmas Day, and it was a perfect match to the recipient, who had been on the waiting list for more than five years. Read the rest of this entry »
Gerald Bacon of Chatham received a lifesaving kidney transplant in November 2010. Wegener’s disease had led to kidney failure, and after more than a year of dialysis, Bacon learned he qualified for a kidney transplant. His partner of nearly 15 years, Connie Schneider, was his donor.
He immediately felt better following his operation.
“When I was on dialysis, I was eating right and felt pretty good,” he said. “Then I had the transplant. The day after the operation, you’d think a person would feel pretty bad, but I felt better. I didn’t realize that even though I was on dialysis, how bad I really did feel.” Read the rest of this entry »
The numbers are staggering – more than 111,000 people waiting for an organ transplant nationwide, 5,000 of them in Illinois. Every 10 minutes, a new person is added to the national waiting list and an average of 18 people die each day while waiting for a transplant.