Giving to the living: Organ donations saved local man's life
Traditionally people celebrate and associate Feb. 14 with Valentine's Day, but for some the heart shaped candies stand for something more.
Feb. 14 is also recognized as National Donor day, to increase awareness about organ donation and the lives that can be saved.
Nolanville resident Josh Delozier owes his life to organ donation.
"I would have been in the ground in 2012, instead of sitting on my couch in 2020," says Delozier who was diagnosed with hemochromatosis 8 years ago, a condition that left him with too much iron in his blood.
Delozier was told his illness was so bad he not only needed a new liver but heart as well.
"They told me that I have three to six months to live."
That was a reality that was difficult to deal with.
"It's odd when you are in a situation where you don't know if you are going to live or die," says Delozier.
"You don't really hear the conversations going on around you, and time doesn't seem to matter."
Delozier was placed on the national donor waiting list, and was told he would need a heart and liver from the same donor.
After being transferred to a Houston area hospital, he was able to find a match and have surgery, waiting just 21 days.
"Josh was given that second chance at life because of generous donor," says Amanda Garcia with the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance.
"Unfortunately that is not the case for everyone," she says.
TOSA says that thousands of people in Texas and around the country are still on the list, waiting for a donor.
That is why Delozier finds National Donor Day so important.
"Every breath I take is because of that young man who decided to become an organ donor," he says.