Girl Who Received Heart Transplant Will Pass Out Valentines With Donor’s Family Thursday (VIDEO) – Roseville, CA Patch

The family of 19-year-old Cassie Campbell, of Orangevale, will be at Kaiser in Roseville on Valenties Day to thank medical professionals for the care they provided for their dying daughter.

The family will be joined by a 23-year-old named Gabby, whose life was saved when she received Cassie’s heart through organ donation.

Their story was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network, as you can see in the video above.

Here’s more information, courtesy of Sierra Donor Services:

Cassie 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 Preap.

The Campbell family, along with 23-year-old Gabby, will distribute thank you valentines to the ICU hospital staff on Thursday, February 14, at 1:30 p.m. inside the Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center, 1600 Eureka Road, Roseville.

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

Cassie’s sister, 19-year-old Brittany adds, “She loved to make people laugh, that was something she did naturally.  She knew how to put a smile on everybody’s face.”

Heart recipient, Gaby Preap, who will meet the Kaiser Permanente hospital staff for the first time Valentine’s Day, notes her life is much brighter than it was five years ago.

In 2008, Gabby 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.

“I felt like I had a ticking time bomb,” remembers Gabby. “I had chest pains, I was short of breath, I lost my appetite and when I would lie down, I would start to choke.”

After two and a half years of waiting — when everyday was a gift, Gabby finally received the call that a 19 year-old 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. ( 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.

“Kaiser Permanente physicians, nurses and employees shared in the pain of Cassie’s passing nearly two years ago, and today we are pleased to learn that several people benefitted from her gift of life,” said Chris Palkowski, MD, physician-in-chief of the Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center. “We recognize the gap between potential organ donors and recipients in need of a transplant, and we support grieving families whose loved ones have chosen to donate organs.”

“Cassie’s giving heart is transforming countless lives,” adds Monica Johnson, Executive Director of Sierra Donor Services. “Not only did her donation save five lives, she is inspiring others to do the same.  This Valentine’s Day we hope more people will follow Cassie’s and Angela’s lead and join California’s nearly 10 million registered donors.  What better Valentine’s gift from the heart can one give, than the gift of life?”

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

via Girl Who Received Heart Transplant Will Pass Out Valentines With Donor’s Family Thursday (VIDEO) – Roseville, CA Patch.

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