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Organ transplant recipient librarian Vicki Cosgrove shares her story

Organ transplant recipient librarian Vicki Cosgrove shares her story

By Unique Larry

Sitting in a room with the love of her life, librarian Vicki Cosgrove realized that the history of her kidney failure had spanned many years. This final realization brought with it a flood of thoughts and emotions.

Cosgrove was fortunate in her fight with kidney failure, she found a donor. Cosgrove was fortunate enough to have been able to receive a kidney after two years of waiting on the dialysis list, from a close personal friend Bill Vickers.

“You always hope you will hold out until a kidney becomes available.” Cosgrove said.

There are 190,000 people in the United States waiting for organs, such as livers, kidneys, hearts, lungs, eyes and even tissue.

Vickers had to go through various tests making sure that he was healthy enough to live on with just one kidney. Luckily enough for Cosgrove. Vickers passed with flying colors, and was able to donate.

In addition to Vickers help through his life-saving organ donation, Cosgrove also depended on the help of others.

“My husband was with me throughout the entire process,” Cosgrove said. “I am an independent person and take care of myself, however, when there are life altering decisions to be made, my husband and I discuss and work through them together.”

Before Cosgrove received the transplant, she depended on the help of dialysis to keep her healthy.

“Dialysis is a life saving treatment but extremely restrictive,” Cosgrove said. “My goal from the onset of the end of my kidneys lives, was to hopefully get a transplant.”

Vickers had to go through various tests making sure that he was healthy enough to live on with just one kidney. Luckily enough for Cosgrove. Vickers passed with flying colors, and was able to donate.

“The transplant affects me daily. I am required to take a tremendous amount of anti-rejection medication called immunosuppressants which keep my body from rejecting the transplanted kidney. There are many side effects associated with this kind of medication, such as a lowered immune system causing me to be susceptible to colds, flu, and anything that is floating around in the air. But I don’t feel any different from anyone else who does not have a transplant‚” Cosgrove said.

There are several students interested in trying to help reduce the large range of people on the dialysis list such as juniors Cynthia Fulton and Carlina Tavarez and senior Andre Nix.

“When I die my body will completely useless to me. Organ donation is, if you think about it, one of the easiest ways to help someone. Most people want to be remembered for something when they die, organ donation is the way to go,” Nix said.

Fulton feeling that not donating is a waste of organs has already made the decision to try to be an organ donor.

“If I cannot use something but someone else can why would I keep it from those people who need them,” Fulton said.

Tavarez had a similar thought process when it came to donation.

“I feel that if someone needs something vital to their life and I had no real use of it, they should get it.”

Other students like senior Blaine Harper have concerns about how organ donation may affect what happens to their body after they die.

“Well, I figure, unless I’m mangled in a horrible accident I would like to be fully intact for the funeral, I guess for family’s sake, sentimental or what not,” Harper said. “Also if there is an afterlife of any kind, I also think maybe for that purpose it would be good to keep everything. But then again on that note, as Christians believe, the donating of organs to another to life perhaps is a good deed,” Harper said.

“I respect people who have genuine reasons to be against organ donation,” Tavarez said. “But overall I think [organ donation] is a very admirable thing to do.”

During National Organ Donors Month many will reflect on how they could save someone else’s life. And many like PGHS librarian Vicki Cosgrove will think how lucky they are to have been touched by the generosity of angels such as Bill Vickers who have saved someone’s life.

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  • L

    Lucas BaileyMar 11, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    This story is really touching. I’m glad I made the decision to become an organ donor. If I’m dead, why would I care about keeping my organs? I would want to help someone and not let my body go to waste.

  • J

    Jessica TaylorMar 10, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I have mixed feelings about being an organ donor. I would like to be because I think it is a good thing to do and I would like to help people. My mom, however, made me question it. She is scared to be one because she has a fear that what if she is in critical condition in the hospital and her doctor has a family member that needs an organ and he just does not really try to save her because he wants her organs.

  • C

    Carrie YoungMar 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I think that donating your organs after you die is really helpful. There is no use for them once you are gone, so you might as well help save lives by donating your organs. I think this article will help students see the importance in being registered as an organ donor.

  • O

    Olivia TritschlerMar 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Very heart touching. This is a great sentimental story that pulls on the heart strings. It also gives some insight into a struggle someone in the school has made that I never knew about. Great job!

  • H

    haley mathenyMar 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I don’t completely understand why someone wouldn’t choose to be an organ donor. I had no idea Mrs. Cosgrove needed an organ but that goes to show that we can be around someone in need and no be aware of it. I am an organ donor as well as a blood donor, despite my fear of needles. Helping someone in need just give me an overwhelming sense of peace in my mind

  • T

    Tessa AllenMar 4, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I’m almost genuinely surprised to hear teenagers talk sincerely about a subject like organ donation, it does a jaded heart good. I hope to be helpful to someone whenever I die, it’s a noble cause and organ donors deserve the utmost respect.

  • M

    Malikah WilliamsMar 4, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    An organ donation to me is one of the biggest sacrifices a person can make. This really just shows that people still do care about each other.

  • M

    madison guidryMar 4, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I think organ transplants are an amazing thing. I have always been for helping others and by donating your organs after you’re gone, You can continue to help once you are gone.

  • J

    Josh KentMar 4, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    This is an interesting article. It’s amazing what some people are willing to do for another human being. I totally agree with Andre’s statement as well, organ donation is the way to go because yo are giving someone esle a second chance at life and that in my opinion is totally worth it.

  • R

    Rachel ArnoldMar 4, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    This was really inspirational. I had no idea she had a kidney transplant, but I guess that its a good thing if she can go on without it noticeably affecting her life. I plan to donate when I die, because, as others said, I would love to be able to give someone something that could potentially save their life, especially when it comes at no cost to me. Also, I had no idea there was a National Organ Donors Month. That was a nice way to wrap up the story.

  • J

    Joseph PervallMar 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    This is a great story. I believe that all people who have healthy enough organs to do so should be organ donors. Too many people die every day because the people who died that same day weren’t organ donors.

  • J

    Jill FairchildMar 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I have always personally planned to donate my organs after I die. The idea bothers some people, but when I have the ability to have such a profound effect in someone’s life it makes me happy. I think part of being human is helping others in need.

  • R

    Rachel WaymackMar 4, 2011 at 6:57 am

    I had no idea mrs.Cosgrove had been in this situation, but i’m glad to see that there are people out there who will make such a sacrifice to save a friend. This is a great, inspirational story.

  • T

    Trey CarterMar 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    This proves that every person has a story, this is one of the greatest “good deeds” some can provide. This should be an inspiration to everyone to become an organ donor, a person owes it to society to become one.

  • H

    Haseena Abdur-RahmanFeb 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Wow, that is inspiring. I had heard on the news about the lack of organs for transplants and how doctors give the next availiable organ to the younger patient. I’m really glad that our librarian is still with us!

  • R

    rebekah bridgersFeb 23, 2011 at 8:49 am

    As a Christian I go along with what Harper said about it being a “good deed”. As for the after life, I believe in what the bible says which is that when I get to heaven my soul will receive a new perfect bod without blemish. When I die my earthly body is of absolutely no use to me, so I am more than willing to allow my organs to support the life of another.