K-100 radio personality Harvey J. Steele visited Marcia Mazur’s freshman health class at Eastwood High School on Wednesday, March 2, to speak about his experiences being a liver recipient not once, but twice in his life.
Almost 14 years ago, Steele was in the Cleveland Clinic in dire need of a new liver. Thanks to the generosity of one family, they allowed their deceased loved one to donate a usable liver to Steele in order to save his life.
Unfortunately, shortly after the surgery, Steele’s body rejected the liver, and he found himself once again waiting on the national transplant list.
“I remember the doctor telling me that I was now at the top of the need list and being excited about it. What I didn’t understand at the time was that meant I probably only had a few weeks to live,” Steele commented.
|Harvey J. Steele|
Steele received a second miracle, however, when he was able to receive another new liver only shortly after doctors discovered his transplanted liver didn’t take.
Also during his presentation, Steele discussed the importance of making your views on donation known to your loved ones. “Let your family know what you think on the issue. If they know your wishes, they will follow them.” Steele stressed.
The day after Steele's visit, Kelly Valentine from Life Connections of Ohio, came to the health classes to discuss the importance of organ and tissue donation. Life Connections of Ohio is a non-profit federal organization to accept anatomical gifts for transplant.
“We aren’t here to force you to become a registered organ donor, only to inform you so that you can make an educated decision,” Miss Valentine told students.
During her presentation, students learned that currently more than 110,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant, and that every day 18 people die waiting for a life saving organ.
Although Valentine stressed that she was not in the class to “sell” students on the idea of organ donation, she felt that knowing the facts about organ donation was essential for them to make an informed decision.
"When you get your driver's license and they ask you if you want that box checked, you should know what your answer involves," she told students.
(Reprinted with permission from the Eastwood High School student publication, The Eagle’s Eye, March 11 issue)