September 9 projected day the U.S reaches one million organ transplants

Reporter: Amy Oshier Writer: Jasmine Singletary
Published: Updated:
organ transplant

September 9 is projected to be ‘the’ day a major milestone when the U.S reaches the world record of one million organ transplants.

Sometime today, somewhere in the U.S, someone will join a select club that includes Cheryl Abraham.

Cheryl Abraham, an organ transplant recipient said, “well, I’ve been a chronic kidney patient since birth.”

She was born with a severe kidney disease, the North Fort Myers woman underwent her first operation to get a new kidney when she was just 31 years old.

“The first time I got the call saying they had an organ for me, it was very emotional.” Abraham said.

Her body rejected that kidney and was followed by two more. And now she needs a fourth kidney transplant. Abraham’s life has been prolonged due to the generosity of strangers.

“It’s such an amazing gift. In you know that it’s like a new lease on life,” Abraham said.

September 9 is the day the U.S expects to reach one million organ transplants. Fueled in part by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for new lungs a record-breaking 41,000 operations were performed last year.

Ashley Moore is with Lifelink, a non-profit that works on the frontlines of donation.

“When someone passes away, we work to check on the medical suitability to see if those organs are going to be transplantable. And we also check on the donate life florida registry to see if that person had made the decision to become a donor. And if they had, we can move forward with donation,” Moore said.

On the other side, every organ transplant is a donor. Abraham never knew hers, who were all deceased, but is forever grateful that someone was willing to share a piece of themself.

“It is a little bit like, you know, living on the edge, you just don’t ever know when that phone call is going to come,” Abraham said.

What’s really important isn’t the big one million number. It’s the one million ones, the individuals who are given another shot at life.

Last year alone, the west-Florida Lifelink group facilitated more than 900 transplants.

Florida has more than 5,000 people on the national registry waiting for new organs.

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