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Donerik Black, Heart Recipient & Living Kidney Donor

I will never forget the night that my nurses and doctor walked into my hospital room and told me they found the heart I so desperately needed.  I spent 49 days in ICU dreaming of that moment, but there was no way to prepare for such overwhelming and life-saving news. The emotions that you go through in a moment like that are indescribable.

I had my heart transplant surgery one day before my 45th birthday and it is by far the best gift that I’ve ever received or will ever receive.  I think of the man who donated his heart to me daily. I think about him most when I am doing something that I thought I would never be able to do again.  If it wasn’t for that man’s selfless decision to be a donor, I wouldn’t be here today. It has given me a renewed sense of purpose and an incredible outlook on what life has to offer.  Every morning when I wake up, I thank God for my donor and the opportunity to go out and do something great.  I’m not just living for me. I am living for my donor, his family and the thousands of people who didn’t get a second chance at life, as well as those who are still waiting.

Without the support of my family, friends and the tireless efforts of donor organizations like the LifeCenter, I would not be here to tell my story.  Thank you. Thank you. A million times THANK YOU!

–          Donerik Black, Heart Recipient & Living Kidney Donor