fbpx

Transplant Throwback: Kay Walters

Kay Walters, pictured with her daughter, received a heart transplant in 1997.

Name: Kay Walters

Age: 72

Home: Holt

Transplant: Heart

Why did you need a transplant and when did it happen?

I had my heart transplant in April 1997, after years of serious health complications caused by a heart attack and cardiac arrest in 1989.

This was 26 years ago. How are you doing?

Since my transplant, I have enjoyed an overall healthy life. At my last check-up at the heart transplant clinic, my doctor gave me an A-.

Your donor’s name was Kim. What else do you know about her?

Kim was a lovely 19-year-old young woman who was full of excitement, planning her future life. She had just graduated from high school. She had a boyfriend whom she loved and a future that was filled with promise when she was killed in an automobile accident.

What are the most important events or experiences you’ve been able to enjoy because Kim saved your life?

In the years since my transplant, I have felt joy and sorrow, like most people. I am happy, thankful and blessed for the years I have been given. My old friendships have grown, and new friends have entered my life. These friendships are precious to me. I am able to participate and volunteer in my community and my church. My heart is full when I can extend my hand out to others who are in need.

I enjoyed seeing my daughter go away to college. It warmed my heart to watch her grow into a beautiful and compassionate woman, who gives of herself to many. I was able to share in the enjoyment of my husband’s retirement. We traveled around the country, and our love for each other continued to grow, as we checked off many items on our bucket list.

I was with my husband when he received a terminal illness diagnosis. Yes, it was devastating, but it was with great joy and gratitude that I was able to love and care for him at home, as he requested. Thank you for all of these magical moments, dear Kim.

If you could talk to Kim today, what would you tell her?

I give thanks every day for the precious gift you have given me. I share your story with people around the country, so your life story does not disappear. I always smile when I make lemon meringue pie, your specialty. I honor your gift and do what I hope would please you every day, Kim.

‘Kim was a lovely 19-year-old young woman who was full of excitement, planning her future life.’

Read more in the LifeLINES newsletter

 

Read More Posts
Angel wings mural in downtown Bay City in support of Gift of Life Michigan

Raising the wings of awareness

For years Brad Gohr watched as his mother, Charmaine Neymeiyer, battled Autoimmune Hepatitis, a disease…

Read More
Dorrie Dils is president and CEO of Gift of Life Michigan

AOPO Names 2024-2025 President and Board of Directors

OPO Leaders Elected to Champion Organ Donation Mission Today, the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations…

Read More
Guests enjoyed free Dippin' Dots ice cream at Donate Life Night at the Zoo

Donate Life Night at John Ball Zoo honors those impacted by organ and tissue donation

Registration still open to this free event Gift of Life Michigan’s largest West Michigan event…

Read More
Donor families in the March of Honor at the 2024 Check Your Heart Capitol Rally

Check Your Heart Rally in Lansing focuses on educating the next generation

Hundreds gather in support of organ, eye and tissue donation   More than 400 people from…

Read More
sunset colors and a cross

Can Catholics Donate Organs?

The tenets of the Catholic faith are something many adhere to. But at times, these…

Read More
Group of patients waiting for organ transplants carrying a banner reading "Waiting to Live" along the Capitol sidewalk

Check Your Heart Rally at State Capitol encourages next generation to donate life

Hundreds expected in support of organ, eye and tissue donation on June 12 Hundreds of…

Read More
Scroll to Top