Have you ever considered “bee-coming” an organ donor? Or are you one already?
This year’s theme for National Donate Life Month is “Bee a Donor” because bees support life throughout nature and their community.
At CTVS, we are so grateful for those who choose to make the gift of organ donation and marvel at the opportunity that one human saves the life of another. One single organ donor can save up to eight different lives.
Last year, 41,354 organ transplants were performed in the United States (3,817 of those were heart transplants). Despite the ongoing medical challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the highest number of transplants on record in any given year.
CTVS was the first practice in Central Texas to perform a heart transplant in 1986. Since then, our board-certified team of cardiothoracic surgeons have performed hundreds of these life-saving procedures.
Transplants are needed when the heart can no longer efficiently pump blood to the rest of the body, and when all other medical treatments and therapies have proven ineffective. Reasons this type of failure might occur include arterial blockages, congenital heart disease, multiple heart attacks, or a severe viral infection.
While heart transplant surgery is complicated, patients require a great deal of care and support afterwards to ensure that the body accepts the donor organ. It is nothing short of a miracle when they are successful.
“A successful heart transplant is really a rebirth and a miracle providing patients the ability who have not been able to do things for years to do them again,” says board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon and transplant specialist Dr. William F. Kessler.
Survival rates for those who successfully receive a donor heart are more than 85% following one year and then approximately 69% after the first five years of a transplant.
There are currently more than 3,000 people in the United States on the waiting list for a new heart.
More information about organ donations and other ways to support these life-saving procedures can be found here.