DURHAM — A Johnston County family is sharing their story to encourage others to become organ donors.
Jared and Bethany Reeves’ youngest daughter, Naomi, was born in late March. But doctors diagnosed her with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
“Essentially half of her heart is not working the way it should. It didn’t develop properly,” says Jared.
Doctors told the family Naomi needed a heart transplant. After waiting 145 days, Naomi recently received her new heart at Duke Hospital on Sunday.
“It was a very surreal. Again, we had no reason to think anything was wrong,” says Bethany.
Bethany says Naomi’s story highlights the need for more organ donors.
“Organ donation is a true need, and it’s a rampant need the continues to grow.”
According to Donate Life NC, a person is added to the transplant waitlist every 10 minutes. The average number of people who die waiting for a transplant everyday is 22. Currently, there are more than 123,000 people waiting for a transplant in the U.S.
“How amazing that your last act on Earth, could be saving eight other lives,” says Bethany.
Naomi is doing well but will have to take anti-rejection medicine for the rest of her life. The family doesn’t know when they’ll be able to go home but they say it could be within the next month.