Mary Elizabeth “Liz” Garner, right, and Kadie Darlene Garner, left, have suffered from heart disease most of their lives. The sisters were diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy as children and had to learn to live restricted lives as their condition worsened over the years.
As the two women have faced the challenges of their disease, they have found comfort and strength in each other.
As Liz says, “Sports were out of the question, stairs were difficult, fainting was optional and breathing was hard enough.”
In 2004, Liz received a heart transplant. She went from weighing 80 pounds, in a wheel chair and needing oxygen, to a healthy, vibrant woman within months. She is grateful to her donor family and to the blood donors who gave blood prior to her surgery.
“Mississippi Blood Services is a life-saving organization,” said Liz. “They have the tools and the means to get out there and provide people like Kadie and me with blood. It took a lot of work for Mississippi Blood Services to get the blood I needed the day I was called into the hospital,” continued Liz. “I got the call at 3:15 a.m. and Mississippi Blood Service was ready.”
“I do not know how much blood I received; I just know we are thankful we were able to receive such a beautiful gift,” said Liz. “I want to say a special thanks to all those who take time to donate blood and to my donor family, the Millers; you gave me such a wonderful gift – the gift of life.”
Kadie received a heart transplant in December 2005 and needed over 30 units of blood components.
Kadie Garner was blessed with six years of life, thanks to her organ donor and blood donors. Unfortunately, Kadie passed away in 2011. Although she is gone, she has become a part of the hearts and souls of those who knew her and will always be more than a treasured memory. To those who know her story she has been and will always remain a source of inspiration for her strength, courage and faith. She faced the challenges life dealt her, thankful for the blessings of each day of her life.
Mississippi Blood Services is honored to have been allowed to share her story with others. She will be missed by all her knew her. She will be remembered by all she inspired. Her spirit will always be a beacon of faith and hope to those who hear her story.
God bless you, Kadie Garner. You made this world a better place.