Loyola Transplant Patients Gather For Candle-Lighting Ceremony Honoring Donors

Local Organ Transplant Recipients, Donor Spouse to Speak at Event For

National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week



Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from Loyola University Health System

    MAYWOOD, Ill., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Transplant recipients and the
 spouse of an organ donor will speak about the gift of life to an estimated
 150 organ transplant patients and their family members during a candle-
 lighting ceremony at Loyola University Health System (LUHS), 2160 S. First
 Ave., Maywood, 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 18.  The ceremony coincides with
 National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week, April 16-22.
     With more than 75,000 patients across the nation waiting for a life-saving
 organ transplant, the annual ceremony is held to raise awareness of the gift
 of life through organ donation and to recognize past donors.
     While donor families rarely shed their anonymity, Barbara Brandess of
 Highland Park will share her experience and speak on behalf of her husband who
 died in 2000 and whose organs were donated, saving the lives of four
 individuals.  Also speaking will be heart recipient, Linda Fischer, 51, of
 Lake in the Hills; lung recipient, Steven Ferkau, 40, of Chicago; liver
 recipient, Steven Gonzales, 28, of Beach Park; and kidney recipient Anthony
 Gryszkiewicz, 60, of Woodridge.
     The ceremony will conclude with a performance by Barrington Children's
 Choir and Barrington Station Middle School Choir, and participants lighting
 candles to memorialize the donors whose deaths gave others new life.  The
 choir will sing "Wings" by Carl Strommen at the request of 12-year-old choir
 member, Jameson Batz.  Batz, whose mother, Valerie, received a double lung
 transplant from LUHS in 1998, asked her classmates to participate in the
 ceremony to recognize National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness and to honor
 the donor who saved her mother's life.
     The celebration is being held in the Paul V. Galvin Memorial Chapel on the
 lower level of Loyola's Foster G. McGaw Hospital.  A reception will follow the
 ceremony at 5 p.m.
 
     A Shortage of Organ Donors
     According to a recent report by the United Network for Organ Sharing
 (UNOS), "the gap between organ transplants and the number of patients waiting
 for an organ transplant more than doubled in the 1990s."  Additionally, in
 1999, 6,125 patients on the waiting list died before receiving a transplant.
     Organ and tissues from a single donor can help more than 25 individuals.
 As of March 2001, 75,486 patients nationally were awaiting life-saving
 donations; more than 4,000 of those patients were Illinois residents,
 according to UNOS and the Regional Organ Bank of Illinois (ROBI).
 
     Loyola Reaches Milestones in Organ Transplant Program
     LUHS has specialized transplant programs in hearts, lungs, livers,
 pancreas and kidneys, making it one of only two centers in Illinois to provide
 all five organ programs.  LUHS also conducts a variety of tissue transplants
 including bone marrow, heart valve and cornea.  In fact:
     -- Loyola has the largest lung transplant program in Illinois and the
        fourth-largest program in the U.S.  Its surgeons performed the
        institution's 300th lung transplant in April 2000.
 
     -- Loyola has one of the oldest and most active heart transplant programs
        in the U.S.  Its surgeons performed the institution's 500th transplant
        operation in June 1999, earning Loyola membership in a small, elite
        group of U.S. medical centers that have achieved the 500 mark.
 
     Loyola University Health System (LUHS), a wholly owned subsidiary of
 Loyola University Chicago, includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC),
 14 primary care centers, the Loyola Ambulatory Surgery Center at Oakbrook, a
 joint venture with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) called
 RIC&LOYOLA, and serves as co-owner-operator of RML Specialty Hospital, a long-
 term ventilator dependent facility in suburban Hinsdale, Ill.  LUMC, a
 private, academic health care institution, is nationally recognized for its
 specialty care and research in such areas as cancer, cardiology and
 cardiovascular surgery, pediatrics, neonatology and neurosciences, burn and
 trauma care and organ transplantation.  The 73-acre campus in Maywood, Ill.,
 includes the 535-bed licensed Foster G. McGaw Hospital with a Level I trauma
 center, Russo Surgical Pavilion, Cardiovascular Institute, Cardinal Bernardin
 Cancer Center, Ronald McDonald Children's Hospital of Loyola, Loyola
 University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Mulcahy Outpatient Center and
 the 24-bed RIC&LOYOLA acute rehabilitation unit, the region's largest burn
 unit, and one of the Midwest's largest and most comprehensive organ transplant
 programs.
 
 

SOURCE Loyola University Health System
    MAYWOOD, Ill., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Transplant recipients and the
 spouse of an organ donor will speak about the gift of life to an estimated
 150 organ transplant patients and their family members during a candle-
 lighting ceremony at Loyola University Health System (LUHS), 2160 S. First
 Ave., Maywood, 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 18.  The ceremony coincides with
 National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week, April 16-22.
     With more than 75,000 patients across the nation waiting for a life-saving
 organ transplant, the annual ceremony is held to raise awareness of the gift
 of life through organ donation and to recognize past donors.
     While donor families rarely shed their anonymity, Barbara Brandess of
 Highland Park will share her experience and speak on behalf of her husband who
 died in 2000 and whose organs were donated, saving the lives of four
 individuals.  Also speaking will be heart recipient, Linda Fischer, 51, of
 Lake in the Hills; lung recipient, Steven Ferkau, 40, of Chicago; liver
 recipient, Steven Gonzales, 28, of Beach Park; and kidney recipient Anthony
 Gryszkiewicz, 60, of Woodridge.
     The ceremony will conclude with a performance by Barrington Children's
 Choir and Barrington Station Middle School Choir, and participants lighting
 candles to memorialize the donors whose deaths gave others new life.  The
 choir will sing "Wings" by Carl Strommen at the request of 12-year-old choir
 member, Jameson Batz.  Batz, whose mother, Valerie, received a double lung
 transplant from LUHS in 1998, asked her classmates to participate in the
 ceremony to recognize National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness and to honor
 the donor who saved her mother's life.
     The celebration is being held in the Paul V. Galvin Memorial Chapel on the
 lower level of Loyola's Foster G. McGaw Hospital.  A reception will follow the
 ceremony at 5 p.m.
 
     A Shortage of Organ Donors
     According to a recent report by the United Network for Organ Sharing
 (UNOS), "the gap between organ transplants and the number of patients waiting
 for an organ transplant more than doubled in the 1990s."  Additionally, in
 1999, 6,125 patients on the waiting list died before receiving a transplant.
     Organ and tissues from a single donor can help more than 25 individuals.
 As of March 2001, 75,486 patients nationally were awaiting life-saving
 donations; more than 4,000 of those patients were Illinois residents,
 according to UNOS and the Regional Organ Bank of Illinois (ROBI).
 
     Loyola Reaches Milestones in Organ Transplant Program
     LUHS has specialized transplant programs in hearts, lungs, livers,
 pancreas and kidneys, making it one of only two centers in Illinois to provide
 all five organ programs.  LUHS also conducts a variety of tissue transplants
 including bone marrow, heart valve and cornea.  In fact:
     -- Loyola has the largest lung transplant program in Illinois and the
        fourth-largest program in the U.S.  Its surgeons performed the
        institution's 300th lung transplant in April 2000.
 
     -- Loyola has one of the oldest and most active heart transplant programs
        in the U.S.  Its surgeons performed the institution's 500th transplant
        operation in June 1999, earning Loyola membership in a small, elite
        group of U.S. medical centers that have achieved the 500 mark.
 
     Loyola University Health System (LUHS), a wholly owned subsidiary of
 Loyola University Chicago, includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC),
 14 primary care centers, the Loyola Ambulatory Surgery Center at Oakbrook, a
 joint venture with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) called
 RIC&LOYOLA, and serves as co-owner-operator of RML Specialty Hospital, a long-
 term ventilator dependent facility in suburban Hinsdale, Ill.  LUMC, a
 private, academic health care institution, is nationally recognized for its
 specialty care and research in such areas as cancer, cardiology and
 cardiovascular surgery, pediatrics, neonatology and neurosciences, burn and
 trauma care and organ transplantation.  The 73-acre campus in Maywood, Ill.,
 includes the 535-bed licensed Foster G. McGaw Hospital with a Level I trauma
 center, Russo Surgical Pavilion, Cardiovascular Institute, Cardinal Bernardin
 Cancer Center, Ronald McDonald Children's Hospital of Loyola, Loyola
 University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Mulcahy Outpatient Center and
 the 24-bed RIC&LOYOLA acute rehabilitation unit, the region's largest burn
 unit, and one of the Midwest's largest and most comprehensive organ transplant
 programs.
 
 SOURCE  Loyola University Health System