Anthony Varela
Organ Donor
Age 18 - Dallas, Tx
Date of Donation: 08/10/2010
Baylor Hospital ; Dallas, TX

On August 8, 2010 at 1:18am, the SUV my son was riding in along with some friends, was struck by a drunk driver and my son was ejected from the vehicle.  He had a large laceration to the back of his head along with other injuries.  The head injury caused Anthony's brain to swell.  After hours of running tests, they determined my son was brain dead.  My son was a very happy, loving, caring, affectionate and giving person who always put everyone else before himself.

My son saved three lives that night and helped 111 others with bone and tissue donations.  My son ended up helping a total of 114 people. I couldn’t be more proud of him and glad we made the decision to donate. 

One gentleman received my son’s heart and one kidney, another received his liver and second kidney, the third receive my son’s double lungs.  I have met all of the recipients and even was able to hear my son’s heartbeat twice since the transplant.  I am in contact with the recipients and have been able to spend time with each of them and am looking forward to continuing our close relationship, as we consider each other part of each other’s families.

In June 2011, my dad was diagnosed with liver cancer and we were told he would need a liver transplant. We couldn’t believe that we were now on the other side of organ donation.  But we believed we paid it forward by donating Anthony’s organs and hoped my dad, also, would get his second chance at life.

March 2, 2012, we received the call there was a liver available for my dad and we needed to come to the hospital, the same hospital where we were the day my son was taken from us.  Not sure if any of you know what we could have been thinking when we received this call.  Happy for my dad but sad for the family that lost their loved one, knowing what we went through and felt when we lost Anthony.  So we all kept that family in our prayers as well as praying for a successful procedure on my dad.

The procedure started around 10pm and was completed a little before 2am.  The surgeon came out and said the liver fit like a glove and my dad is doing great! He was out of ICU the next day, the following day he was walking around and 4 days after the surgery he was sent home. We couldn’t believe how well he was doing.  But at the same time, feeling very blessed.   Nine weeks after his transplant, he was told he could return to work, light duty of course.  But such a blessing to us that someone became an organ donor and gave my dad a second chance at life.

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