Being creative for organ donations - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


Being creative for organ donations

Posted: Updated:

Maryetta Austin and her husband John have been married for 36 years.  A few years ago John found himself in need of a kidney transplant.  After not having any luck finding a donor,  Maryetta decided to take matters into her on hands. She turned to Facebook.

Maryetta Austin says "I turned to the public and we know how Facebook is these days, it reaches way out there and I decided the list is so long, that's the way I would turn."  

It worked. Maryetta says they found a living donor, a complete stranger, willing to give the gift of life.

Maryetta Austin says "Our donor is the most wonderful lady in the world.  She is just the most wonderful lady."

Right now there are more than 123,000 people across the country, and nearly 3,000 in Tennessee on the waiting list, the majority of those are in need of a kidney.  

Dawn Benjamin is with Tennessee Donor Services. They serve as the middle man between the hospital and transplant center with deceased donations.  

Dawn says she's not surprised more people are turning to living donors... the average wait time is three years, and a lot of people just don't have that kind of time.

Dawn Benjamin says " In today's world it doesn't surprise me because of the impact social media is having on all of our lives."

From Facebook to putting ads on your vehicle, more people are turning to these methods. 

Lori Coulter says "I don't want to wait for a kidney. I'm type O. Type O's are everywhere and they're much harder to come by, so I don't want to wait, so I just took it into my own hands."

Now that Maryetta was successful, she is paying it forward trying to help others find donors.  She says it is the least she can do after her husband was given the gift of life, and they have been given the gift of more time together.

Maryetta Austin says "I  can't put into words, we've been married 36 years now, he has gotten to see our kids graduate from college, spend time with our grandkids."

Something she says is priceless.



Powered by Frankly