Southwest Florida couple says they wouldn’t be here without organ donors

Over 100,000 people are still waiting for life-changing organ transplants. A couple in Southwest Florida says that if it wasn’t for their donors, they would not be here today.

David and Janet Weinstein are celebrating their milestones and this Valentine’s Day they have so much to be grateful for.

“People just don’t realize what the organ transplant life with like,” said David.

Twenty-three years ago, David was battling Polycystic Kidney Disease or PKD. It’s a disease without a cure. It causes multiple cysts to develop and damages the kidneys.

“My great grandfather, my father, and all my male cousins all passed away from kidney disease in their early 50s. That’s when I was diagnosed with kidney failure,” David said.

Doctors put David on dialysis as they searched for an organ donor. Two years after that, a sign of hope appeared.

“I was at dinner with a group of people and I got a call and they said ‘we think we have a kidney for you, come on down to the hospital, we’ll see if everything matches and that night I received a kidney,” he said.

Not long after that, he met Janet. But, soon, she began her own battle with Kidney disease.

“David is the best support I could ever have. He knew about dialysis,” Janet said.

In 2021, she’s celebrating 10 years since her transplant. Now, the couple travels the world.

They give all the credit to the donors who they know saved their lives. So, the Weinsteins want to encourage you to become an organ donor.

“Become an organ donor,” David said. “Heaven doesn’t need your organs; they’re needed down here.”

David and Janet often send letters to their donors thanking them. Janet says her donor has never replied but she hopes that one day she will.

National Donor Day is on February 14 of this year. So if you’d like to donate you can do so here by getting onto Florida’s official donor registry. Anyone can sign up to be a donor, regardless of health. Also, the Weinsteins volunteer with Lifelink Foundation after their successful transplants.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Drew Hill
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