Raising the Bar on Gift Giving

Transplant patients share their stories at annual celebration

Raising the Bar on Gift Giving

Kidney and liver donors and recipients pose with their loved ones and surgeons at the Donor and Recipient Reunion at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center on Wednesday, April 27.

Over the course of their lives, people give and receive a lot of gifts. Toy trucks. Dolls. A tool kit. Earrings. Even a new car.

Attendees at a Lahey Hospital & Medical Center event on April 27 have given or received something far more profound — the gift of life. At the Donor and Recipient Reunion, which brings together patients who have received a transplant or who have served as donors, dozens of attendees brought their loved ones and their stories about why they decided to donate or what it meant to receive a liver or kidney.

“Deciding to be a living donor was the best choice I’ve ever made,” said patient Logan Shannon, who donated part of her liver to her husband, Derek, who was suffering from primary sclerosing cholangitis. “Being able to share a piece of my liver with Derek was an amazing gift, to me. I got to be a member of a whole team of amazing people who worked together to save Derek’s life: the surgeons, doctors, physician assistants, everyone in the clinic, and the amazing nurses on the 6th floor.”

As patients and their families arrived, they walked down a red carpet to an area where they posed for a photo with their surgeons under a banner that read “Share the Love.”

Another speaker was kidney recipient, Cynthia Elmore. Her stepmother, Hilda Elmore, agreed to take part in a kidney exchange so Cynthia could receive the kidney she needed. She donated her kidney to someone in Maryland, and someone from that family donated to Cynthia.

“Thank you, mom, for giving me a second chance,” Cynthia Elmore said to her stepmother, who flew in from California for the event. “The excellent care that I got here has been phenomenal. I can’t speak highly enough about the doctors and nurses at Lahey.”