A Hastings woman sees her daughter walk down the aisle, because of your gift of life.This year marks the tenth anniversary of the NTV blood drive. And it's because of blood, as well as organ donors that this local woman is healthy today.
Carol Harrenstein is living proof not only of the importance of donors, but also proof community health fairs work. It was the annual health fair at the county fairgrounds where Harrenstein first learned she had a disease slowing scarring her liver.
"I had no symptoms, anything wrong. Big advocate of the health fair because it can help you and save your life," she said.
That was 12 years ago. Four years ago, she received a liver transplant.
But surgery also required a donation of life saving blood. She said, "That's something needed desperately, not only for transplants but all kinds of tragedies. Blood is essential." Harrenstein is a big advocate of giving blood and of course for organ donation.
Because of those gifts, she was able to experience her daughter's wedding, when just months before she was often fatigued as her liver disease progressed. She said, "To be able to enjoy the whole thing – go shopping and everything we did for the wedding, remarkable."
She got a midnight call telling her to go to Omaha.
Surgery was long, and delayed several hours making her even more anxious.
But because of organ and blood donors, she's healthy and feels great. In fact, she said she felt better the very next day. And frequent checkups show she is still doing well. She reports she has not had to return to the hospital since her transplant. She encourages everyone to consider giving the gift of life, and talk to the family about the decision to become an organ donor.
And if nothing else, she encourages people to be regular blood donors, giving at blood drives like NTV's 10th Annual Tri-City Blood Drive coming May 6.