Northwestern Medicine

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital Honors Organ and Tissue Donors

Lake Forest Hospital April 04, 2013

Northwestern Medicine transplant patient speaks about life-giving donation

Donate Life raising flag ceremonyLAKE FOREST, IL—As Andy Trosper underwent emergency surgery due to complications from Hepatitis C, his hepatologist received a call from the Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network telling him that a donated liver was available for Trosper. The next day, Trosper was back in surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital receiving the liver transplantation that would save his life. Three years later Trosper, 58, of Bloomingdale, Ill., was the featured speaker as Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital raised a Donate Life flag outside of the hospital. A Donate Life flag will also fly at Northwestern Medicine Grayslake throughout April, National Donate Life Month. The flags are flown to raise awareness of the need for organ and tissue donors, as well as to honor those who gave the gifts of life, sight, or mobility by becoming organ or tissue donors.

“The three years since my transplantation have been amazing—I have walked both of my daughters down the aisle on their wedding days, I’m about to become a grandparent for the first time and my wife and I are celebrating our 36th anniversary today,” said Trosper. “My transplanted liver was truly a gift: a gift of life, of health and of many irreplaceable moments with my family.”

Trosper was exposed to Hepatitis C through blood products, resulting in liver disease. He and his physician team managed the liver disease for 18 years, but the disease progressed to the point of liver failure and he desperately needed a new liver to live. On December 24, 2009, he was put on the transplant list and three months later he received his transplant. Five days after his surgery he left Northwestern Memorial, and he has been in near perfect health since.

“Andy’s story is an example of the mission we work toward every day: to save and enhance the lives of as many people as possible through organ and tissue donation,” said Susan Shapiro of Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donation. "We’re very grateful for the support and outreach efforts of hospitals like Northwestern Lake Forest, who help us raise awareness of the need for organ and tissue donation for the many people in Illinois and throughout the nation who wait for the organ or tissue they need to live.”

Currently more than 5,000 people are on the Illinois Organ Waiting List and more than 116,000 people are on the National Organ Waiting List. An average of 18 people dies each day while waiting for a donation. More than 300 people died in Illinois waiting for an organ transplant in 2012, and more than 6,500 people died nationwide while waiting for a donation. And yet just one donor can save or enhance the life of more than 25 people.

“I’ve been fortunate to meet the family of my donor to express my deep gratitude for my organ donation,” said Trosper. “I’m also a volunteer at Northwestern Memorial’s Kovler Organ Transplantation Center in Chicago to support the amazing work being done to save lives through transplantation.”

“My hope is that my story will inspire more people to sign up as an organ or tissue donor, to give the gift of life to the many people who await a donation,” concluded Trosper.

Celebrating 25 years of saving and enhancing lives in 2012, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is a not-for-profit organ procurement organization entrusted by the nation’s healthcare system with coordinating organ and tissue donation and providing donor family services and public education in Illinois and northwest Indiana. It has coordinated donations that have saved the lives of more than 19,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients. As one of 58 organ procurement organizations that make up the nation’s organ and tissue donation system, Gift of Hope works with 180 hospitals and serves 12 million residents in its donation service area. It also is part of Donate Life Illinois, a coalition of agencies responsible for organ, tissue, eye, blood and marrow donation, as well as donor education and registration, in Illinois. Learn more about Gift of Hope and organ and tissue donation.*

National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was instituted by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. Celebrated in April each year, NDLM features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.

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