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Real-Life Heroes

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Real-Life Heroes

Trinity mom Jennifer Albright and Trinity admissions officer Melanie Hughes spoke at Jewish Hospital Transplant Care's 55th anniversary news conference/celebration.

Trinity mom Jennifer Albright and Trinity admissions officer Melanie Hughes spoke at Jewish Hospital Transplant Care's 55th anniversary news conference/celebration.

photos by Cole Crush, co-editor in chief

Trinity mom Jennifer Albright and Trinity admissions officer Melanie Hughes spoke at Jewish Hospital Transplant Care's 55th anniversary news conference/celebration.

photos by Cole Crush, co-editor in chief

photos by Cole Crush, co-editor in chief

Trinity mom Jennifer Albright and Trinity admissions officer Melanie Hughes spoke at Jewish Hospital Transplant Care's 55th anniversary news conference/celebration.

Matt Gadd, Editor in Chief

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With the recent release of “Avengers: Endgame,” society’s love for superheroes becomes even more apparent. Already generating more than two billion dollars in revenue, “Endgame” is expected to surpass “Avatar” to become the highest grossing movie of all time. Superheroes represent everything we love in a story: an underdog, someone with the odds against them, someone with their back against the wall who overcomes everything to become victorious. But, superhero stories are fiction.  Fortunately, real-life superheroes do exist.

“Organ donors are real-life heroes.”

This short phrase by Dr. Ronald Waldridge II meant a lot to the hundreds of organ donors, recipients, and families who attended the Jewish Hospital Transplant Care 55th Anniversary Celebration.

Waldridge, president of the hospital, started the event with a simple yet powerful statistic: “Fifty-five years later, we have saved over 5,200 lives.”

Applause burst out in the room. The emotional applause overwhelmed many of the attendees. While 5,200 lives have been saved, many more people have been affected.

With amazing medical procedures, friends, family and others get to see their loved ones for years to come. A grandfather can watch his granddaughter graduate from college. A father can dance with his daughter at her wedding. None of these would be possible for some people without Jewish Hospital’s life-changing transplants.

Jewish Hospital has received national recognition for their transplant work. The first adult heart, pancreas, adult liver, double lung, and dual heart/lung transplants in the state of Kentucky all took place at Jewish Hospital.

Christopher Jones, MD, was supposed to speak at the event, but he was performing a liver transplant at the time.

A video presented showed support from top Kentucky politicians for the groundbreaking work being done at Jewish Hospital. Senator Mitch McConnell, Representative John Yarmuth, Governor Matt Bevin, Mayor Greg Fisher and others sent a video message to praise the program.

Shelley Snyder, the executive director of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks Trust for Life, discussed the importance of becoming an organ donor. More than 1,000 people in Kentucky are on the organ donor wait list.

Snyder said, “That little heart on your license means the world to those 1,000 people.”

She expressed gratitude for the sacrifices people have made and was overjoyed to see the survivors at the celebration. 

Thanks to the Albright family, Davey will not only be remembered for the life he lived, but the lives he saved.”

— Mrs. Melanie Hughes

Snyder said, “(We are) blessed we get to see the people who have been saved.”

Jennifer Albright, mother of Trinity High School sophomore Davey Albright, who passed away in the fall of 2018, spoke of her experience with organ donation.

Davey’s kidneys were donated to Melanie Hughes, who works with Trinity’s Advancement Office. Jennifer had been tested months before to see if she was able to donate a kidney to Hughes. She was not, but she still wanted to help. Despite dealing with the loss of her son, Jennifer thought about helping others.

Jennifer said, “I knew what I needed to do.”

Jennifer remembered Hughes needed a transplant and decided to donate one of Davey’s kidneys to her. The donation of Davey’s organs helped a multitude of people.

Jennifer said, “The decision to donate his organs was not a difficult one.”

Even in this difficult situation, Jennifer found hope through helping others. She said, “Pain can melt away when you know you are helping others.”

A well-liked young man at Trinity, Davey still makes a difference after his passing. There was a significant bump in people signing up to be organ donors due to Davey’s story.

Many of Davey’s friends send Jennifer pictures of the organ donor sticker on their driver’s license.

Organ donation was a way for Davey’s legacy to live on.  Jennifer said, “There will be a piece of Davey walking around Trinity every day.”

When Hughes discovered she would need a transplant, she was not afraid. Hughes said, “I wasn’t afraid of dying, I just wanted to spend more time with my family.”

Hughes, who was required to go through dialysis three times a week  before the transplant, no longer has to endure that procedure.

Hughes was extremely grateful for the Albright family’s sacrifice.

She said, “Thanks to the Albright family, Davey will not only be remembered for the life he lived, but the lives he saved.”

____________________________________________

Jewish Hospital Transplant Care

Celebrates 55th Anniversary

Two Trinity community members delivered a powerful message at a news conference held as part of Jewish Hospital Transplant Care’s 55th anniversary celebration. 

The news conference/celebration, which took place Apr. 16 at Jewish Hospital, began with introductions by Jewish Hospital President Ronald Waldridge, II, M.D., a blessing by Rabbi Dr. Nadia Siritsky and  remarks by Shelley Snyder, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates.

Jennifer Albright, mother of the late Davey Albright, and Melanie Hughes, of Trinity High School’s Advancement Office, spoke of the gift of life that Davey’s organ donation provided Hughes. Davey, a Trinity sophomore, died in a tragic accident on Sept. 7, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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