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Long Island Dad's Successful Liver Transplant Inspires Volunteerism

Long Island Dad's Successful Liver Transplant Inspires Volunteerism
(Hafakot/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 21 June 2018 01:45 PM

A Long Island dad said his liver transplant last year has inspired him to volunteer for the organ donation agency in New York after the 72-year-old man waited nearly a decade before he received a liver, the New York Daily News reported.

Walter Zublionis told the newspaper that he was surprised last October when he learned that a match was found for him to receive a new liver. His daughter, Ronnie Reid, the organ transplant coordinator for LiveOnNY, the federally designated agency that facilitates organ donation in New York, told the newspaper she received the word first from a colleague.

His procedure then at New York-Presbyterian Hospital went smoothly, and Zublionis got a second chance at life after years of waiting, the Daily News wrote. Reid, who has served as transplant coordinator for five years and a nurse for 28 years, said the experience was emotional for her.

"It was full circle to the extreme," Reid told the Daily News. "I got to feel first-hand what I give to people. It makes it much more emotional for me, which I guess, in turn, makes you fight a little harder. When I make that phone call (to someone waiting for an organ) I can now literally feel that emotion that someone else is going to feel."

Zublionis told the newspaper he will volunteer with his daughter for LiveOnNY's Donor Enrollment Day in October to get more people signed up to donate their organs. He said he hopes to meet his donor family in the future.

The LiveOnNY website said only 31 percent of New Yorker are registered organ donors.

"You get one life," said Reid, leaving her father to respond, "But I got two. And that's only because one person said yes. Somebody was so selfless. It is the ultimate gift."

The nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing states on its website that there is no age limit to donating an organ and celebrity or financial status are not factors in determining who will receive a donated organ.

UNOS stated that a national computer system and strict standards are in place to ensure ethical and fair distribution of organs.

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A Long Island dad said his liver transplant last year has inspired him to volunteer for the organ donation agency in New York after the 72-year-old man waited nearly a decade before he received a liver.
long island, dad, liver, transplant
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2018-45-21
Thursday, 21 June 2018 01:45 PM
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