Kidney Transplant Survivor For More Than 20 Years Is Grateful And Doing Well

Carolyn Samuel 


LAKE COUNTY – “National Donate Life Month (NDLM) aims to spread awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation and honor those who gave the gift of life”.

“This observance has been celebrated every April since 2003, when it was established by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations.”

“Donating an organ is the process of allowing one person, with their consent, to have their organs legally removed and transplanted to another person, where the donor can be living or dead and a close relative.”

In an effort to appreciate and honor those who donate organs to others and save lives, and to reveal the importance of individuals to donate their organs upon their demise, The Orlando Times newspaper always dedicates an April issue to encourage African Americans to know the need for us to be donors as well as receivers.

Below is the interview with organ receiver Carolyn Samuel by The Orlando Times newspaper’s (T.O.T.) writer Louis C. Ward.

T.O.T.: “What kind of transplant did you have?”

Carolyn Samuel:  “I had a kidney transplant.”

T.O.T.: “When and how did you learn you needed a kidney transplant?”

C.S.: “I learned that I needed a transplant through blood tests’ results and biopsy.”

T.O.T.: “How long was the time between you finding out you needed a kidney transplant and actually receiving the kidney transplant operation?”

C.S.: “Four years.”

T.O.T.: “What was the experience like while you were waiting for the organ?”

C.S.: “I always stayed ready to get the call. I always had a bag packed waiting to be called. I was always anxious because of not knowing what to expect.”

T.O.T.: “Once you received the organ, what were your thoughts?

C.S.: “My first thought was that I was a blessed person. I knew that God had given me another chance at life.”

T.O.T.: “Did you know your organ donor?

C.S: “At that time, 20 years ago, you were not allowed to know your donor. I was given some specifics about her life. The family did not want to meet the recipient either.”

T.O.T.: “How long has it been since you received the organ?”

C.S.: “Over 20 years.”

T.O.T.: “Do you have any concerns about organ donors, or your experiences as a receiver of a transplanted organ?”

C.S.: “I just wish that the stigma of not knowing your donor or recipient would be removed.”

T.O.T.: “Why would you want recipients and donors to be able to know each other?”

C.S.: “Recipients, such as myself, would love to give a token to the families and form some type of relationships of gratitude.”

T.O.T.: “What advice would you give to those individuals awaiting a transplant?”

C.S.: “Always be ready for the call. Keep yourself as healthy as possible. Eat properly and stay in shape.  Always continue to pray.”