Sometimes, as we move forward with our foundation, amazing opportunities present themselves. Friday, April 13th, was one of those times. Bob and I headed out from Ball Ground at 6:00 a.m., anticipating a terrible drive to Atlanta, one that could take possibly 2 hours. We were pleasantly surprised to arrive WAY ahead of time. So what did we do? Breakfast, of course.
We ate at the SILVER SKILLET in Atlanta. Apparently this restaurant has been in a lot of movies and if you were inside, you would understand why. It’s OLD and loaded with old time charm. We can recommend the pancakes and sausage without hesitation!
Then on to the “amazing opportunity.” We were invited by CBS46 to participate in a program honoring “Organ Transplant Month” which is April. We were one segment of four. The group picture, above, shows all of the participants. It was an EXCELLENT presentation from the standpoint of educating the public about transplants, which is a multi-faceted subject.
Segment #1 was a couple whose 15-year-old son was killed in a tragic car wreck. They made the unselfish decision to donate his organs and 5 people received his major organs. They have also set up a scholarship fund in his honor to be given to students “of character.” It was an emotional segment.
Segment #2 was ours. And, of course, it was about two things. One was that our son passed away before getting a transplanted heart and how that affected our lives. And then we talked about how loosing Jeff has translated into our passion for transplant patients. We talked about about how we provide housing for transplant patients and their care givers at no cost to them while they are going through their transplant experience.
Segment #3 was two gentlemen who have received successful heart transplants: one almost 20 years ago (which is totally amazing) and one 3 years ago. They both are HEAVILY involved in the transplant world, volunteering their time at the hospitals in order to encourage patients and also spreading the word about organ donation and it’s EXTREME importance. Just an aside here about a “small world.” One of the guys knew one of our apartment patients, and the other’s doctor was Dr. Andy Smith from Emory who was instrumental in getting our foundation started.
Segment #4 was about the Georgia Transplant Foundation and LifeLink, both organzations that help us enormously in a financial way. Their main focus was to debunk a lot of myths about transplants, and there are many. One thing that stood out (and this is very important in our Southern culture): 1) after donation, it is still entirely possible to have an open casket funeral.
It aired on Sunday, April 15. I have attached a link to our segment: