One person can make a difference. Oahu resident Cheryl Lynn Bean is a strong believer in that.
Bean was losing hope of ever getting a new kidney, especially after the state’s only transplant center shut its doors a year-and-a-half ago.
“I just knew this is mine. It’s mine I have to get it now. It was exciting,” Bean said.
On June 26, she learned she would be getting a new kidney. That same day, she went into surgery and came out smiling.
“I feel good because before she was on dialysis every day and she’d come out and say, ‘I’m tired. We can’t go to the beach’ and stuff. Now, she has that glow and I’m happy,” Bean’s daughter Ariana Bean said.
“It’s a whole new life. It’s a gift to me to have a second chance at life,” Cheryl Lynn Bean said.
But after five years on the kidney transplant waiting list, she had almost lost hope when the state’s only organ transplant facility shut down.
“It’s been a long haul and a big adventure, but I think it’s worth it to give these patients the opportunity at having transplants without having to travel 2,500 miles to the next transplant center,” Queen’s Medical Center Transplant Surgeon Dr. Linda Wong said.
This month, the Queen’s Medical Center celebrates a one-year milestone as an organ transplant center. So far, it’s done 33 kidney and 15 liver transplants.
“We can only do as much as the people of Hawaii can donate,” Dr. Wong said.
Currently, 400 people are in need of a kidney. Thirty-three people are on the wait list for a liver.
“Thank the donor and the family. I’m so grateful. I feel great today,” Cheryl Lynn Bean said.
She wants her story to inspire others to sign up as an organ donor.
For more information on organ donations, visit this website.