My CNN colleague Richard Roth recently needed a kidney transplant — his second in nearly 25 years. The email announcing he’d gotten the organ and was so grateful for his donor made me smile and cry a little.
I was over-the-moon happy for Roth. He’s not only alive — he’s a recipient of and witness to sheer human kindness. Organs are limited resources, as are the donors — living and deceased — who are willing to share them.
I also have a donor to thank.
Five months ago, a young man I never met saved my life. My liver stopped working — suddenly and unexpectedly — and I was told I needed a new one to survive. My doctors suspect I had a toxic reaction to a medication I was taking to treat a rare and newly diagnosed condition. I was considered a “Status 1A” patient, which meant I didn’t have months or even weeks to wait for a new liver.
I had days before I would likely go into a coma and die.
But surgeons, social workers and administrators sprang into action. Over the next few days, they came across a liver from a young man who was the best match in terms of organ size, blood type and other factors.