Families of organ donors, recipients gather at Hinsdale Hospital
Double lung recipient Valerie Batz speaks about what the gift of being able to breathe again means to her. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
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Updated: April 15, 2013 6:17AM
HINSDALE — It’s rare, when the same moment can cause one person to cry in grief and another to exclaim with joy.
But that’s the case when an organ donor dies.
People who experienced that dichotomy gathered for a donor remembrance ceremony at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s Calandra Chapel. About 30 people joined the ceremony, which included poems, responses, music and comments from organ recipients and the parents of a donor.
“To be real honest I hate that we are here,” said Rob Chana, one of the speakers.
Rob and Lori Chanas’ 22-year-old son, Cameron, died in a bus accident three years ago.
“He had just graduated from college. He was everything you think a son should be,” Rob Chana said.
And so Chana, who lives in Clarendon Hills, was glad he could share how his son, through his death, allowed five people to live, two people to see and improved dozens of other lives with donations of skin, tendons and arteries.
Cameron had registered as an organ donor. Because of his age and the way he died, “he was the perfect donor,” Rob Chana said.
When the Chanas got home from the hospital the night of the tragedy, they were told his corneas and tissues would be donated, and his heart, lungs and liver already had been transplanted. His kidneys later were transplanted, too.
“My hope was to hear Cam’s heartbeat again,” Lori Chana said.
She did, when she met Nate, the 59-year-old man who received her son’s heart. Lori took a stethoscope to their first meeting.
“Whenever I see Nate, I get to hear Cameron’s heart,” Lori said. “The donation program has given me hope that there is a purpose to my son’s death.”