Meet Thomas Rogers, Heart Valve Recipient
Thomas was born with a congenital heart disease called “L-transposition of the Great Arteries with pulmonary atresia”. Emergency surgery was required immediately when Thomas was born in order to keep him alive. Thomas has had several open heart surgeries that required not only blood transfusions, but also organ donations of tissue that were needed to repair his heart.
During each surgery, Thomas has required several units of blood. Now 18 years old, Thomas says “I would like to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who has taken time out of their busy day in order to save somebody’s life by donating blood. They have no idea how this gift has changed not only my life, but also the lives of so many others”.
Thomas’s illness has prevented him from being able to participating in school sports, lifting heavy items, or participating in any daily activities that would elevate his heart rate. He has not let this stop him from enjoying life, though. An avid photographer, Thomas has won several awards for his work. “I hope that I can use my illness in some way to help others,” Thomas commented. Recently he organized a Boy Scout Eagle project aimed at raising awareness for the importance of organ donation. “The two items that we all can do to help save a lot of lives is checking the organ donation box on your driver’s license, and stopping by MBS to donate blood.”
Thomas’s plans for the future include going to college, getting a job, and carrying out a normal life just like other youths his age. These things can only be accomplished thanks to the generous people who thought of others, and donated their blood and tissue so that others could live.