Organ donation helps save Navajo man's life

Posted at: 04/04/2013 6:36 PM
Updated at: 04/04/2013 6:57 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

According to New Mexico Donor Services, more than 600 New Mexicans are on the waiting list for life-saving organs. Many die before that help ever comes, but not everyone though. And, at UNM Hospital it was time to celebrate their successes.

Edward Redhorse returned to UNM Hospital Thursday - not for treatment or surgery - but to say...

"I sincerely thank you to this establishment- to the doctors," he said.

Three years ago, Edward got a life saving kidney transplant. He was suffering from kidney failure. He needed three trips a week to dialysis just to stay alive. Dr. Eduardo Alas from the hospital said dialysis patients have a lower chance of survival than someone with cancer.  

"A good majority of those patients die on the list without ever receiving an organ. So there really is a big need to get these people transplants," Alas said.

The Redhorse Family came from the Navajo Nation with a gift for those doctors and nurses who helped them. They brought a traditional Navajo rug as a token of gratitude for saving Edward's life. Family members actually made the rug by hand. Faith, family and an anonymous kidney donor got Edward through his struggle. 

Redhorse says he had a lot more living to do, and plans on it.   

 "A lot- so I get to travel anywhere I want, go visit my families throughout the state," he said.

Doctors there wanted to remind people to make your wishes known about organ and tissue donating and have that block checked on your driver's license.

If you want to know more about organ donation, click here.