Katie's Story

Kathryn (Katie to her friends and family), was a bright, beautiful, young child, who just weeks before her 11th birthday, was burdened with a diagnosis of PPH (Primary Pulmonary Hypertension), a silent killer.  Within months of her diagnosis, and near death, Katie underwent a double lung transplant.  This gift of life was unselfishly offered by her father and brother, who both donated a lung lobe so that Katie might live.

You may recall seeing Katie and her family on the news, reading about them in the newspaper, or hearing Katie’s story on the local radio stations.  Katie spoke to many from her hospital bed at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles expressing her thanks for the transplant and encouraged others to consider donating organs for transplants.

We know her words reached others.  Shortly after Katie’s transplant, a young man died after being hit in the head with a baseball.  His mother remembered seeing Katie on the news and was touched by her story.  This grieving mother donated her son’s organs so that others could have a second chance to celebrate life.

Katie had a great philosophy about her situation, “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”.

Katie fought valiantly to hold onto life.  Through her fight she gave of herself to help others.  From her hospital bed, she solicited donations to help feed the hungry.  She often spoke at fund-raisers on behalf of the transplant program at Children’s Hospital.  Through it all, Katie maintained her 4.0 grade point average.

Sadly, just two days prior to her 15th birthday, Katie lost her battle for life.  Before she left us, she asked her family not to mourn her, but to celebrate her life.  The first celebration of her life was Katie’s donation of her corneas for transplant.  Death was only the beginning of this young woman’s commitment to help others celebrate life.


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