Heart to Heart

| April 07, 2005

While Brent’s insurance company covered about 85 percent of his bills, what was left over was “still a pretty good chunk of change.” And his insurance company is no longer paying as much as it used to.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, the estimated first year charges for a heart transplant are more than $200,000. Annual follow-up charges are $15,000.

Brent’s community held a benefit to help him with his bills. His construction job co-workers chose to give him their pay from a day’s work.

“He was just speechless,” Brent’s mother said. “Not too many people would do that.”
Not too many people donate their organs, either. Today, there are more than 80,000 people waiting on some type of organ transplant.

Making the decision to donate organs may be done by signing an organ donor card or driver’s license. However, a family member should be notified, as they will have the final decision-making authority.

“I’d never even thought to sign the back of my license,” Brent says. “A lot of people don’t think about it. I’ve signed it now, though. I’ll do anything to spread the word.”

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