LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As the times are changing so are teaching methods.
Several different local and regional groups responsible for educating Kentuckians about organ donation came together Wednesday to introduce a new way to get a younger generation educated about the process.
In pretty much every way, Adrianne Rogers is a normal recent college graduate--other than the fact that she's held her own heart in her hands.
"When I was 22, I started going into atrial fibrillation a lot," Rogers began. "By the time I'd turned 23, I'd had enough progression with my restrictive cardiomyopathy it was time for the transplant list."
It was December 2017. Jenna Lasota was working as an organ coordinator for KODA, meaning she traveled to the organ and coordinated its way to its new person.
"I got a phone call that I had to go out to Lexington and we were flying out to Philadelphia," Lasota said.
Just like the new smartphone game app "Life Lift," Jenna was transporting a vital organ by air. She only had four to five hours to get the heart back to the Bluegrass, where it would offer Adrianne Rogers a new life.
"I don't remember there being any terrible weather conditions on this particular case," Lasota said. "But I've ran into a few where there's heavy fog, thunderstorms, snow storms."
Rogers was told at 11 a.m. she'd be getting a heart that same evening. She felt a sudden rush of mixed emotions.
"It was kinda like the most anxious but excited I've ever been in my life," she said.
The transplant was a total success.
A few weeks later, Jenna was at the office in Lexington when a mother and father walked in and started talking about their daughter, who recently underwent a heart transplant.
"The more that they started talking about it and the logistics and everything I realized this is a case I just did like a week ago," Lasota said.
Closure--something Lasota doesn't normally get in these cases. When she passes off the organ, she doesn't always know if the transplant is successful. Rarely does she meet the family of a recipient that quickly.
After her success story, Adrianne wants people to know how amazing the gift of life can be, and how she plans to honor her donor and her family by using her gift to its fullest.
"I would want them to know that I'm going to do everything I can to live the best life I can," was the message Adrianne would send to her donor's family.
"I don't think there would be a more rewarding job in the world," Jenna said. "And it's obviously something I will never forget."
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