Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 8:21 am
Vicki Hornbuckle used to play the piano at her church. But that was before her liver started failing.
"I had to give it up because I couldn't keep up," says Hornbuckle, 54, of Snellville, Georgia. "I didn't have the energy to do three services on Sunday. You're just too tired to deal with anything. And so, it's not a life that you want to live."
But Hornbuckle hasn't given up. She's fighting to stay alive long enough to get a liver transplant.
Questions from his estate planning clients prompted attorney Paul Rabalais to investigate organ donation. Now Rabalais sponsors an annual 5K run/walk to support the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA). For more information about the 5K run/walk, go to www.lopa.org.
Dr. Hector Ventura leads the Ochsner team that implanted the "Total Artificial Heart" for the first time in February. Their patient, a father of five now awaiting a matching donor heart, was the first in the Gulf Coast region to receive the device.
The Multi-Transplant Institute Team at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans was recognized as Number One in the U.S. for the year 2012 by CareChex, based on mortality and complication rates. Dr. Nigel Girgrah, Liver Transplant Director, says Ochsner's Living Donor Program helps prevent deaths of patients on the waiting list by reducing wait times.