Pinwheels planted at Wexner Medical Center honor former patients, organ donors

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is celebrating Donate Life Month, recognizing former transplant patients and organ donors. Sunday, the medical center celebrated its 10th annual Pinwheel Planting ceremony.

A garden of multi-colored pinwheels fills the front plaza of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Each pinwheel planted represents a life saved through an organ donor transplant.

Since 1967, OSU Wexner Medical Center has performed 8,500 transplants. April Miles is one of those 8,500 lives saved.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for my donor,” Miles said.

This young mother of two wasn’t supposed to live to see 25. She was born with Bileria Tracheai, a disease the effects the bile ducts in and outside her liver. The only cure is a transplant.

“I made it to 25, but when I was 24 I was listed shortly after my younger son’s first birthday,” said Miles.

She waited for a new liver for a year. On January 6th, 2017, April received her transplant.

“There are not enough organ donors,” said Kenneth Washburn, Executive Director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Right now about 600 people are on the organ transplant waiting list at Wexner.

“All of these patients who don’t get a transplant are all going to die from their organ failure. So getting a new transplant gives them a new lease on life,” said Washburn

As for April, she turns 26 this month, and has a new fresh outlook on life.

“Literally the next day I got up and started walking. Three days post (surgery) I walked four miles. I’m just a totally different person. I can chase my kids around,” she said.

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