Recipient Stories

Recipient Stories

Organ, eye and tissue donations can have a lasting impact on transplant recipients and their loved ones. Hear real-life stories from individuals who have received lifesaving and life-enhancing transplants, thanks to the generosity of donors and their families.

Kari Alejandre

A donated heart gave Kari a second chance at life, the birth of a son and a lifelong connection to the family of her young donor, Keely, who had cerebral palsy.

When her daughter, Keely, passed away, Mary Ann Bjorgaard was devastated. Then a chance meetup led her to learn who Keely’s heart saved, and she realized that in a way, Keely was now able to walk and talk — abilities she had never had since being born with cerebral palsy and without the left side of her brain. Keely’s heart gave Kari Alejandre a second chance at life.

Nicholas Bean Sr

Before getting married, Nicholas had a routine physical that showed his kidneys were failing. His wife, Kimberli, was able to give him the best gift of all — the gift of life.

In 2006, Nicholas Bean Sr and Kimberli Bean reached milestones like those of many other young couples: They got married, bought a house and purchased a car. Before their wedding, Nicholas had a routine physical for the first time in years. Labs revealed Nicholas’ kidneys were failing and he needed a transplant.

Olivia Eisenhauer

An otherwise normal teenager, Olivia was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy and learned she would need a heart transplant. She can never thank her donor enough.

Olivia Eisenhauer was an ordinary, active teenager. That all changed the day she collapsed between volleyball matches and was unconscious and without a heartbeat for several minutes. Miraculously, Olivia survived — yet she and her family did not know what caused her sudden cardiac arrest. Eventually, she was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy and learned she would need a heart transplant.

Read about donor families and the impact their loved ones made, or tell us about your own personal experience with organ donation.