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Daughter Saves Dad's Life With Transplant



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One person can save and heal more than 60 people with organ donations alone.

 

On Monday, transplant doctors, donors and recipients, met together at Sanford Children's Hospital in Sioux Falls, to recognize April as "National Donate Life" month, including a daughter who gave an organ to her father.

 

On October 15, 2012, Robert Nelson received the most priceless present the world has to offer.

“The gift of life," said Nelson.

 

His daughter, Jennifer Wintheiser, gave away her kidney to save her dad's life.

 

“When we found out he first needed a transplant, it was an immediate decision between my husband and I that I would at least try to see if I was a match," said Wintheiser.

 

After blood test after blood test, Wintheiser had a deep, strong feeling she was a match for her dad.

 

"I was able to call my dad myself and tell him and it was very emotional, but it was just a great feeling to be able to do that," said Wintheiser.

 

Every day, nearly 100 people join the nationwide list, waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

 

“Typically in South Dakota, it ranges from 500 to 600 people waiting for organs in this state, if you think about the population that's a large percentage," said Burris.

 

Dr. Larry Burris said education is key to raising organ donation awareness and said life can go beyond your final moments.

 

“Upon your death, your life can go further with donations," said Burris.

 

Wintheiser said she's thankful she had the chance to add years to her father’s life, years a friend of hers lost, while waiting for a transplant.

 

For her father, an even greater gift followed the organ exchange.

 

“The best thing to come out of this is her and her brother doesn’t have the disease," said Nelson.

 

With the transplant complete and both Jennifer and her dad on their way to full recovery, Wintheiser said she can't wait to see her parents build more memories together.

 

“Watching my mom and dad edge into retirement, travel and do the fishing they like to do and just live their life the way they should," said Wintheiser .

 

South Dakotans can register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor by checking yes to the option when applying for a driver's license or state identification card.

 

If you're interested in becoming a donor, visit http://donatelife.net/

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