Asia Werner, a 14-year-old from West Chester Township, loves poring over the “Guinness World Records” book. She hopes one day to flip through its pages and find a record she helped set: largest gathering of heart transplant recipients.
That event happened Friday, Valentine’s Day, when hearts and love were everywhere. Lakota Ridge Junior School student Asia traveled to Southfield, Mich., where heart transplant recipients converged on a car dealership showroom. Organizers said 132 attended.
Six transplant centers participated, including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. That’s where Asia, born with multiple heart defects, received a heart in 2000.
The parents of 5-month-old Iowa boy Cole Hollenback donated his heart. The families keep in touch. A photo of Cole hangs in the Werner home.
“We love him,” said Dawn Werner, Asia’s grandmother who adopted her 10 years ago. “He lives here with us. Because it is his heart that beats inside of Asia.”
Nationwide, about 117,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant. A single organ donor can potentially save the lives of eight people. For more information about organ donation, contact LifeCenter, 513-558-5555 or visit http://lifepassiton.org.
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