Posted: Apr 18, 2013 2:14 PM
Updated: Apr 18, 2013 4:07 PM
By: Denise Yost, Multimedia Content Manager – email
COLUMBUS, Ohio –
Every day about 18 people in the country die while waiting for an organ transplant.
Maybe it’s a heart, lung or kidney.
They’re waiting, hoping and, for one Central Ohio woman, praying for a donor who would be her match.
A military veteran with a love for travel, Vee Penn had to put life on hold when her kidneys gave out.
“I hadn’t told anyone at work that I was in kidney failure,” Penn said.
She went through home dialysis every day for three years.
“I kept a positive attitude and I went to church and I prayed and I had people praying for me and I just knew everything was going to be OK,” Penn said.
But the day came when it was clear that she needed a new kidney. And she got the call.
“October 2011, I got the call and said, ‘I’m ready,'” Penn said. “They said, ‘We think we have a match and pack your bags.'”
Penn said her prayers were answered. Now, she is an advocate, sharing her story and dispelling myths about some religions opposing organ donation.
“The truth is, all major religions support donation. In fact, they encourage it. They see it as the ultimate, altruistic gift you can give,” said Dorrie Dils, Chief Clinical Executive of Lifeline of Ohio.
“I tell them it doesn’t matter their age, their background, medical history, religion. Does not matter. Go register,” she said.
Now Penn is back to traveling.
“As soon as I got my transplant and I was healthy enough, I said let’s go,” she said.
You’ll find her walking, staying healthy. There is another joy unfolding in Penn’s life. Her first grandchild is on the way.
“God willing, I’ll continue to be healthy and help raise my grandbaby and enjoy her and go on vacations with them,” she said. “I’m no longer tied to a machine every day. I’m free. Free to live.”