A Gift for Life
The documentary follows several vital organ transplant patients through diagnosis,
surgery and post-op recovery: a child at
New York Presbyterian Hospital; a cancer patient undergoing cutting edge protocol
at Mayo Clinic;
a woman waiting for a deceased donor liver on the
UNOS list at the University of Minnesota; a mother whose friend decided,
unasked, to give her a portion of her liver; and a fifth grader anticipating his second
liver transplant; a young police officer in need of a rare triple heart-liver-kidney
transplant. The patients are separated by more than geography. They come from different
socio-economic, ethnic and age spectrums.
What they have in common is that without the generous donation of an organ, dedicated
medical professionals and a surgeon’s skill, they will die.
Organ donors, family members, past recipients and professionals provide hope as
these people navigate the razor-thin margins of organ transplant. Where the kindness
of strangers saves another’s life, where the tragic death of one person pulls another
back from the brink of death. Where a mother, son, daughter or father with everything
to live for may succumb before an organ match is made, and where surgeons and medical
professionals battle terminal disease and an unrelenting clock to save lives.
Those who emerge from this journey are more than cured. Their lives are changed
forever, as are the lives of viewers who learn that they are, A Gift for Life.
Intended Stories in A Gift for Life
- A child at New York Presbyterian
Hospital and her family wait for a vital organ transplant.
- A young mother at the world famous Mayo Clinic learns that she has the fast-growing cholangiocarcinoma.
Mayo Clinic is having
some success with a new procedure, however time is short. A liver must become available
before she is overcome.
- A coordinator meets with a pain-wracked family at the hospital to explain the realities
of their loved one’s brain death after an accident, and the remarkable opportunity
for organ donation their tragedy affords. Despite their grief and shock, or perhaps
because of it, they decide to give the gift of life.
- Another in need of a transplant languishes an hour away in the hospital, MELD score
of 35, life fading, time running out....
Stories like these are happening across the country every day.
University of Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic and
New York Presbyterian staff are helping A Gift for Life identify
patients willing to share their stories.
They know that in the world of transplant, knowledge is life and ignorance kills.
As we follow their journeys, A Gift for Life is collaborating with key content contributors.
These people who have found new, remarkable and inspiring lives post transplant, medical
professionals and surgeons, the coordinators at Organ Procurement Organizations like LifeSource that bring donors and patients together,
and both living donors and the families of those who reached out and changed another’s
life even in death.
Key Content Contributors
A Gift for Life has an unprecedented level of access from three of the world’s leading
Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota Transplant Center, and New York Presbyterian Hospital are working with A Gift
for Life to ensure the best possible production.
Staff coordinators and doctors at these facilities are actively assisting A Gift
for Life in finding patients both suitable and willing to share their story.
Media relations professionals at these institutions are working closely with A Gift
for Life in finding willing nurses, doctors and other medical professionals to participate.
Doctors at Mayo Clinic
have agreed to keep “video diaries” capturing the calls with offers of organs as
they come in, sometimes while they are out for a jog, swimming or sleeping.
This assures, A Gift for Life is capturing the stories of transplantation; the patients
and their families, doctors, nurses, facilitators, coordinators and others.