By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – April is National Donate Life Month. There are thousands of people waiting for organ transplants. Every 12 minutes someone is added to the list. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has the story of two families brought together through tragedy.
Behind the scenes of organ transplants are families in crisis. One losing a loved one, another desperate for help. Two of those families are sharing their bond to help raise awareness.
Two-and-a-half year old Josie Crawn on her mom’s lap is too young to know the lady she’s sitting next to saved her life. Lin Moyers son, Ethan was 20 when he was killed by a drunk driver. His family decided to donate his organs. Rachel Moyer is his sister.
“Losing Ethan was one of the hardest things me and my family have ever been through, and continue to go through on a daily basis. Knowing that he saved seven people lives helps ease the pain,” said Rachel.
Josie is one of the seven. She has part of Ethan’s liver. Now the families have become friendly, and were together at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to help kick off National Donate Life Month.
“The demand for donor organs far exceeds supplies,” said Dr. Steven Altschuler, the Chief Executive Officer at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
A year after Josie’s transplant the families were given the opportunity to meet.
“I thought it would be hard simply because my daughter was alive because of their son’s death. However the Moyer’s made it very clear to us that Ethan still lives on because Josie is healthy and alive,” said Jamie Crawn, Josie’s mother.
“I safely can say we all feel like we’ve been blessed with a gift of extended family,” said Lin Moyer, Ethan’s mother.
“My brother spirit continues to live on. Thank you,” said Rachel.
The Moyer’s feel a part of Ethan now lives through Josie. Families brought together through tragedy now share a special bond.
And when Rachel gets married, Josie will be in her wedding.
“Having Josie as my flower girl is so special, and will feel like having part of my brother there,” said Rachel.
Both families are encouraging everyone to become an organ donor. It’s quick and easy, and it can be done online.
For more information, simply click the following links: