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Warrior Wednesday: Another Chance at Life

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One Michigan couple shares a pretty unique organ donation love story.

Tracy and Holly Gary are both organ transplant recipients. Tracy suffered from a heart attack in 2013, and then later a stroke. He had 3 LVADs (left ventricle assist device) implanted into his chest. It’s an invasive surgery that helps pump blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Holly received a liver transplant fifteen years ago. For her, it almost happened instantly. She miraculously received her transplant within eight hours. She woke up and didn’t even know she had underwent surgery. The frightening part – she had liver failure out of nowhere for unknown reasons.

Because of their life changing experiences, the couple has started a non-profit — .

Tracy says, “The hospital is a home base for our search, and we’re going two to three miles around the hospital.”

The house will have rooms for patients, caregivers, and family members to stay in. It will also include a community room with a big open floor plan for people to interact and relate to one another as they go through a major event in their life.

The goal is to raise $350,000 to make this dream into a reality. So far they have raised $127,000.

There isn’t a location like this in Michigan. It also will be open to anybody that comes to the area since s many patients come here from Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

Because at the end of the day, the greatest gift you can receive — is another day of life.

Holly has had the fortunate opportunity of meeting her donor family. She says, “She sent me an email and said, ‘I’m your donor’s mom, do you want to come to a family reunion?’ And I was just so emotional. I even got to walk my donor’s daughter, Katie, down the aisle.

Tracy hasn’t met his donor’s family, but would really love to. It’s an emotional topic to discuss. He says, “I want to meet my donor family because the gift that they gave me…his selfless act of being a donor and the family’s selfless act of doing the donation is, it’s just beyond words.”

For more information on The Transplant House of West Michigan and to make a donation, visit their website .

To give the gift of another chance and become a donor, .

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