Mary called Northside Hospital and was told they don’t do transplants. She then called St. Joseph’s and didn’t get beyond the person answering the phone. (As it turns out, St. Joseph’s has joined with Emory to do transplants. Evaluations are still done at St. Joseph’s, but surgeries are done at Emory.) Then she called Emory and was put through to the Transplant Unit where she was received with an enormous amount of enthusiasm! The person she talked to said that she would have “her supervisor” call me back.
That same day, Mary received a phone call from Dr. Andrew Smith, the founder of the Transplant Unit at Emory. They had an extensive conversation. He wanted to know Jeff’s story, Jeff’s doctor, our family information, our vision, etc. He was extremely wonderful to talk to and extremely interested in our vision. Mary knew immediately that she was talking to a doctor with a heart (so to speak!). In the conversation, he mentioned that it was unlikely that we would have to set up our own 501(c)(3). He thought we would probably be able to “connect with another foundation.” And he mentioned “The Mason House” at Emory.
We received an email from him that same afternoon saying he would set up a lunch meeting with him, us and another member of his team.
We immediately began researching the Mason House, the IRS requirements for setting up a foundation, etc., and we were overwhelmed with the prospect of beginning this venture. But we pushed forward.
And then we never heard back from Andy Smith.