When a mysterious illness brought her to the brink of death, Milwaukee’s Aaliyah Milledge was given the gift of life through a double lung transplant. During Donate Life Month this April, Versiti Organ and Tissue is honoring countless donors whose spirit lives on in others through the miracle of organ, tissue and eye donation.
This April, Versiti Organ and Tissue is encouraging community members to indicate their willingness to be organ, tissue and eye donors through state and national registries. Throughout Donate Life Month, we also take time to honor donors and donor families who have generously given so that others may live.
Approximately 2,000 Wisconsinites and 110,000 Americans are awaiting organ transplants. More than 138 million people, approximately 56% of the U.S. adult population, are registered organ, eye and tissue donors. But, until individuals take the simple step of registering their willingness to donate, their wishes won’t be known.
Organ donation gives Aaliyah a second chance at life
In August 2017, 16-year-old Aaliyah developed an awful cough that quickly turned more serious. By the holidays, she was in the hospital as both of her lungs were failing. She wasn’t getting enough oxygen, and while doctors couldn’t diagnose her condition, she had to be placed on life-support.
Eventually, doctors determined Aaliyah needed new lungs. In August 2018, after a month on the waiting list, a match was found and Aaliyah underwent a double lung transplant. The transplant cured her condition and continues to breathe life into Aaliyah’s future hopes and dreams.
“To be able to give someone a gift of an organ and a second chance at life is priceless,” said Aaliyah’s mom, Jeaniffer. “We’re thankful for her donor and the precious gift of life they gave us.”
Giving a second chance at life
Versiti Organ and Tissue is dedicated to saving and extending the lives of patients while caring for donor families. In 2018, Versiti Organ and Tissue facilitated 238 life-saving organ transplants.
You can make difference by:
- Registering to become an organ, tissue and eye donor;
- Join the Be The Match marrow donation registry;
- Donate blood regularly through Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin;
- Honor donors and donor families who have saved lives and improved the quality of life for others.
For more information and to join the registries, visit versiti.org.