A Mother’s Instinct Saves Her Child

Donate Life Month

Sheri gave the gift of life to her daughter over 15 years ago through a kidney transplant

Megan Ebert was 13 months old when her parents first realized something was wrong. Worried about a lingering infection, mom Sheri Ebert, a registered nurse, was shocked to learn Megan was in kidney failure. Megan, now 18 years old, suffered from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) caused by strep pneumococcal pneumonia. While most children who develop HUS recover without permanent damage, little Megan faced cardiac arrest, irreversible kidney damage and other permanent health problems. Megan was put on dialysis temporarily until she was older and healthy enough for a transplant. That day came when Megan was two years old. Sheri, as well as her husband, were a match for organ donation. Even though the procedure was much more invasive in 1998, Sheri didn’t think twice about donating. Today, Megan’s kidney is wearing out, and she is once again on the organ waiting list. But that is not slowing her down. She’s still a spunky, sassy and happy girl. “I encourage everyone to get education about organ donation,” says Sheri. “You can give life and still go on to lead a healthy, happy life while others get the chance to live their lives.”

Husband Gives Life So Four Others Can Live

Donate Life Month

Lisa and her late husband, Chad of 15 years, believed in organ donation. Three years ago Lisa donated Chad lungs, kidneys and pancreas.

Registered Nurse Lisa Pennington came home three years ago to find Chad, her young, healthy husband, suffering a seizure. He suffered a brain aneurysm in an area of the brain where the bleeding couldn’t be stopped. He was only 38
years old when he died, but four other people would live because of him. Lisa remembers the agreement they made years earlier. “If we’re not going to need our organs anymore, someone else might as well benefit from them,” she recalls. Lisa donated Chad’s lungs, kidneys and pancreas. “A year after he died, I received a letter from the man who received his lungs,” Lisa recalls. “He was a teacher and rode Harley’s. My husband was going to school to be a  teacher and always wanted to ride them.” Chad, a man with dreams, a goofy dad, a faithful volunteer and a civil war reenactor, gave the ultimate gift of life. “It was an easy decision when that time came because I knew that is what he wanted,” says Lisa. “I also watched my father-in-law die while waiting for a donor heart. I know the anguish of not getting an organ, so if I can help someone, I will.”