A few years ago, LifeCenter introduced you to Bob Briggs, a liver transplant recipient whose inspiring story of hope and restoration is a powerful example of the far-reaching impact of organ donation. In our first feature, Bob provided a snapshot of the events that led up to his liver transplant in January of 1998, along with some of the amazing ways his life had changed in the 14 years since that pivotal procedure. We recently caught up with Bob to see how he’s been doing since we last spoke with him in 2012; below are some of the highlights of that conversation.
* It’s been nearly two decades since Bob received his new liver, and a lot of life has happened during that time. One of the biggest changes has been the addition of a new grandchild to his family, bringing the total to four. Although Bob has slowed down a little since retiring from the Post Office, much of his life is centered around his grandchildren, so he has plenty of opportunities to stay busy even during his golden years!
* Bob’s oldest daughter is heavily involved in the Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls, a flat track roller-skate derby league that supports local community activities and charitable fundraising efforts. His middle daughter is married to a tattoo artist who recently loaned his talents to an organ donation awareness event by offering free green ribbon tattoos for people who were registered organ donors (or signed up to become one). With the help of a few of his colleagues, Bob’s son-in-law was able to provide well over 40 tattoos in one afternoon! His youngest daughter said, “I do,” three years ago and is enjoying married life.
* Bob has been a faithful volunteer at LifeCenter for many years now, and he remains actively involved at the Vineyard Cincinnati, the church he attends in Eastgate. In more recent months, Bob’s volunteering has been slightly limited due to the fact that he is currently on oxygen, but in his own words, his liver is doing “great.”
* One of the biggest concerns that Bob expressed is the amount of misinformation surrounding organ donation. He pointed out how some TV dramas have a tendency to misrepresent what actually happens when someone is in need of a life-saving organ. One of the most common misconceptions is the idea that hospitals would allow someone with a life-threatening condition to die so that they could use that person’s organs to save someone else’s life. Bob handily corrected that mistaken notion, stating that hospital workers “are working harder to keep you healthy, because unless your organs are healthy, they can’t be used.”
Now 70 years old, Bob Briggs never hesitates to credit the life-saving act of organ donation for his longevity. In his own words: “One of our slogans is ‘It costs nothing, but it means everything.’ It’s true, an organ donor saved my life. I wouldn’t be here if someone hadn’t said ‘Yes’ back in January of 1998. They found a match, put it in me and here I am, almost 20 years later. It’s just amazing that I can be a part of my family’s lives. My life is full. I’m watching the grandkids grow. I’ve had an amazing outpouring of support over the years.” With so much life yet to live – and so many grandchildren to spoil – the Bob’s story is yet another testimony to the power of organ donation. Here’s to many more wonderful years to come!