Heart transplant recipient urges more to become organ donors

By MELISSA ARNOLD State Journal Staff Writer Published:

As of May 30, there were 559 Kentuckians on waiting lists for various organs. Some will receive an organ and others won't be so fortunate.

Nationally, 16 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant, said Berkeley Scott, executive director of Trust For Life.

But for those who do receive an organ, it's nothing short of a miracle. Just ask Jeff Smith.

"It is because of someone dying that I am here," Smith said. "I pray for the guy and his family every night. It's a blessing."

He has suffered with heart problems for the past eight years and was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. Smith, now 38, is from Florence. He traveled to the University of Cincinnati's hospital for treatment and was eventually hospitalized.

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