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A New Family Through Organ Donation

06/4/2018

Bagpipes broke the silence of an early April morning at HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Medical Center. Hospital staff gathered around the flagpole to witness strangers become family, bound by a person important to each of them but in very different ways.

On Friday, April 27, 2018, Mike and Sydney Duke addressed the crowd who gathered at the front of the hospital, only feet away from one of people their son saved as a donor. They told the story of their son, Samuel Duke, and his generous gift of organ and tissue donation after he passed away in April 2016.

A Life Renewed

Morgan Cheney, before Samuel’s passing, was struggling with every breath she took. Doctors diagnosed her with cystic fibrosis when she was only 2 years old, and she developed a cough in 2015 that kept getting worse.

“I was literally dying, I could feel it. I didn’t know what was happening. I couldn’t shower, I couldn’t eat. I was helpless,” Cheney says, explaining what life was like before she was hurled into the process of getting a surgery she didn’t even know she needed, a double lung transplant. Samuel’s generosity gave her and four others a second chance at life.

Bagpipes chimed in again as the two families embraced with tears, watching the Donate Life flag being raised in honor of Samuel and all organ donors whose end-of-life wish was to help others.

Morgan Cheney (l) embraces Sydney and Mike Duke as HonorHealth John C. Lincoln raised the Donate Life flag.

Morgan Cheney (l) embraces Sydney and Mike Duke as HonorHealth John C. Lincoln raised the Donate Life flag.

Health Care for Hope

Hospitals and health care organizations across Arizona participate in Health Care for Hope each April during National Donate Life Month. This campaign increases registrations and potentially saves thousands of lives in the future through donation.

In April 2018, more than 1,040 new individuals joined the DonateLifeAZ Registry for the first time as part of Health Care for Hope.

HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Medical Center placed in the top five organizations, with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center coming in first place, based on new registrations. More than 50 hospitals and health care organizations raised the creative bar this year as they hosted registration tables, coordinated media coverage and encouraged both staff and visitors to sign up to give the gift of life.

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