One Heart Transforms Countless Lives

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(Roseville/Orangevale /Sacramento)

Nineteen-year-old Cassie Campbell became an organ donor on April 18, 2011, following an accidental overdose of prescribed medications.  Because she had checked “Yes” for organ donation at the DMV just one year prior, she was able to save five lives, including her heart recipient Gabby.

“Cassie’s big heart continues to connect lives,” says her father, Dave Campbell.  “It’s fitting – as Cassie was a popular social butterfly.”

Heart recipient Gabby Preap notes her life is much brighter than it was in 20098.  That’s when she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy after a virus attacked her heart.  At 19 years old she was dying of heart failure and given two years to live.

But after nearly 3 years of waiting, Gabby finally received the call that a donor had been found.  Gabby’s life was saved. “I felt like I was reborn,” says Gabby. “It was a new start for me – like I was never sick.”

The story of Cassie’s giving heart recently garnered national attention when the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), featured the Campbell family meeting Gabby on its Lost and Found series. (http://www.oprah.com/own-lost-and-found/Second-Chances-A-Life-Saving-Heart-Transplant-Video). Cassie’s gift of life so inspired one Oprah producer, Angela Heller, that she became a registered donor.  She urged all of her friends, through her Facebook page, to do the same. Eight months after the filming, Angela died unexpectedly.  Like Cassie, her gift saved and enhanced many lives.

Johnson urges everyone to sign up by visiting www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org  today, or sign up through the DMV when getting a drivers license.