LifeGift - Story (Kate Nalley)On Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Story - Kate Nalley (Organ Recipient)
Organ Donations have affected thousands of people around the world. Check out this inspiring story!
(Pictured: Katelyn Nalley)
Katelyn (Kate) Nalley was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy at only five weeks old; one of the ventricles in her heart was too enlarged to pump enough blood to her body. Just a few short weeks after diagnosis, the newborn girl was placed on the waiting list for a heart.
About a month later, on Independence Day weekend, Kate’s mom, Courtney, was at her bedside when the phone rang. It was Kate’s transplant coordinator – a heart was available. The whole family was in town for the holiday, so they all got to be there for Kate as she received her new heart.
Kate’s brother, Braden, 10, was only 5 when his sister was born, but he learned just how important organ donation is. He recently gave a presentation to his Cub Scout leaders and pack about organ and tissue donation – and earned a special badge for it.
Kate helps inspire others, too. Even when she's sick or in pain, she’s always full of joy. She says that when she grows up, she wants to have 10 kids and be a doctor – or Rapunzel. The Nalleys are grateful she’ll have the chance, thanks to an anonymous donor.
Courtney and her husband, Andrew, have written to the donor family, but haven’t received a response. Every year on Kate’s “heart birthday,” they release balloons in her donor’s honor.
When asked what she would say to the donor family, Courtney responded: “Thank you, thank you, thank you! The selfless gift during your most painful days has given us five amazing years that we wouldn't have had otherwise. We will never take a single beat of this miracle heart for granted.”