The Gift Of Life...The Story Of Deana Carter
of us never think about death. We simply dismiss the thought that one day we
could be faced with a life-threatening illness and even die. We often think
that death won’t happen to us because we’re too young, too successful, too
faithful or possibly just too famous. However, nine years ago, country music
superstar Deana Carter realized that despite her Grammy Award nominations,
gold records and her deep faith, her father was dying and there was nothing
she could do about it. Deana and her family needed a miracle. That miracle was
flown in from Chicago.
Deana learned that her father was diagnosed with a rare kidney disorder,
called Wagoner’s Disease, which threatened to take his life. Fred Carter, a
legendary guitarist in his own right, was powerless. Faced with the
realization that Fred’s condition was terminal, his doctors put him on the
transplant list and hoped for a miracle. Just before the Christmas holidays,
that miracle arrived.
on dialysis for a period of time and put on a donor waiting list through
Vanderbilt Medical Center,” Deana explained.”
“We got the call from his doctor. regarding the donor kidney just
before the Christmas holidays, after my brothers and I
traveled from Nashville to Winnsboro, La., where my parents were living
the first to admit that she and her family are lucky. There are thousands of
people who are removed from the waiting list each year because of death, while
thousands more are added and hope and pray that they will receive a miracle,
such a tremendous heartache to be on a waiting list and never get the
‘call’,” Deana shared. “Luckily,
we finally got a match and our call came.
But there are so many others who aren't as fortunate. All we know is
that the kidney came from the Chicago area.
We are so grateful to the family that made this possible for us.
Their gift has given my Dad and my family QUALITY of life for the last
9 years. We are so blessed.”
In fact, as
of February 2004, 23,387 transplants occurred throughout the country from only
12,133 donors. Every fourteen minutes a new name is placed on the waiting list
for an organ. In addition, over forty-five thousand Americans were given the
gift of sight through cornea donation and hundreds of thousands of others were
given the chance for a pain-free life through other transplantable tissues
such as bone, skin and heart valves.
her family realize that they were lucky. They also realize that although Fred
lived, many other families aren’t as lucky. According to the United Network
for Organ Sharing (UNOS), on average seventeen people die each day due to a
lack of transplantable organs. That adds up to over six thousand people that
die each year deaths that possibly could have been avoided if we all had the
forethought to tell our loved ones that we want to be a miracle in someone
is SO simple, SO necessary, and SO easy to give this gift to someone who
Americans have the trained ability to help someone who is blinded, in chronic
pain or even facing the possibility of death, but we all have the potential to
help through donation. We can all sign a donor card and share our wishes with
our loved ones and let them know that we too want to be a miracle in someone
else’s life when our time on this earth is finished. If you don’t think
that simply signing a donor card and sharing your wishes with your family is
such a big deal, just ask Deana Carter. Better yet, ask her father Fred. They
both know a thing or two about the miracle of donation.
For more information on Organ and Tissue Donation, visit the National Coalition on Donation by clicking here.