April’s biggest organ, eye and tissue donation news and stories from around Colorado, Wyoming and the US:
Crash Victim’s Family Thanks First Responders, Touts Organ Donation
The family of Cody Crosby thanked first responders. Nearly four years ago, Cody Crosby died when the car he was riding in hit an abandoned truck that was parked on the ramp at I-70 and Wadsworth. Crosby was a registered organ donor and his death saved the lives of three others. Watch the story here.
Hall of Famer Rod Carew’s heart transplant came from a former NFL player
Hall of Famer Rod Carew underwent a successful heart and kidney transplant in Los Angeles in December. Carew, now 71, had been using a mechanical device to pump blood following a massive heart attack in September 2015. According to Garrett Downing, the heart and kidney Carew received came from former NFL player Konrad Reuland. Reuland, who played for four teams during his career, died at 29 due to a brain aneurysm in December. Read more.
Transplant touchdown: Gavin Maxwell, new liver control the gridiron
After a rare diagnosis, Gavin Maxwell received a new liver. He and his family battled back to normalcy, but there was one catch: Gavin couldn’t play football. That was a though-blow for the then 10-year old who still calls the sport his favorite. However, he was wise beyond his years and didn’t take no for an answer. Gavin became the youngest official within the Sheridan Recreation District’s Little Guy Football program. Read more.
For Lead native, organ donation lifelong passion
Sue Dunn is the president and CEO of Donor Alliance, a Denver-based organ procurement organization that serves Colorado and most of Wyoming. She was recently elected vice president/president-elect of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing board of directors. Read more.
After Cheating Death Twice, Ironman Powers Through Races with Another Person’s Heart
Heart transplant recipient Derek Fitzgerald runs, bikes and swims for a reason: “to be the best custodian of my body.” Within two years of his transplant, Fitzgerald became the first American heart transplant recipient to endure the 2.4-mile swim, 112 mile-bike ride, and marathon that make up an Ironman triathlon. Read more.