Three families whose lives were intertwined by organ transplantation reunited recently at Hadassah University Medical Center to commemorate the saving of life following the tragic death of loved ones.
Seven years ago, Danel Gugenheim, age 27, was severely injured in a car accident and passed away a few days later at Hadassah. "It was like thunder on a sunny day", said Yaacov, his father. "We were all in agreement and did what we had to do." The family donated Danel's organs. Yossi Shirman received Danel's lung. A year ago, Gilad Shirman, Yossi's son, passed away and Yossi decided to donate his organs. An Israeli Arab, age 53, who had been waiting for a kidney for seven years, received Gilad's kidney.
At this momentous reunion, Shany Shirman told the participants that just one day after Gilad went into a coma, Yossi, who was already living with a transplanted lung from Danel, received a kidney from his brother, Ephraim—at Hadassah. "It was clear to us," she said, "that had Gilad been alive, he would have volunteered his organs. I feel as if we turned death in our family into something that saved life."
"It is the most noble act one can think of," noted Hadassah Nurse and Organ Transplantation Coordinator Kiril Gorozovsky.