National Pediatric Transplant Week: Raising Awareness of the 2,000 Children on Transplant Waiting ListApril 25, 2023
Granbury, Texas Family Honors Two-Year-Old Colt Gentry Who Offered Life to Others
Fort Worth – National Pediatric Transplant Week is recognized the last full week (23rd – 29th) in April of National Donate Life Month. This observance focuses on the powerful message of ending the need for a pediatric transplant waiting list. Throughout Pediatric Transplant Week, clinical partners share patient stories; donor families whose children have saved and healed lives through organ and tissue donation are honored; and recipient families share their thanks and milestone celebrations.
There are currently 2,000 children under the age of 18 waiting for a variety of organ transplants. More than 600 of them are younger than 6 years old. Although many of the conditions necessitating transplant can occur as early as infancy, the needs per age group vary. Most children ages 6 – 10 are waiting for a kidney transplant.
Nearly two years ago the Gentry family lost their loved one, Colt Gentry, who passed away due to an auto accident. They honored his legacy to change the lives of others through organ and tissue donation. “Donation was such an easy decision for my husband and I both because we’ve been registered donors ever since we could have a driver’s license. There was never a question about donating Colt’s organs and tissue!” says mother, Chloe Gentry.
Colt’s organ donation saved the life of a 53-year-old man on the organ transplant waiting list through the donation of his two kidneys. His tissue donation helped save the lives of countless patients. “Although there have been such great things that have come from Colt’s gift of life, this also has been the most challenging time of my life” adds Gentry. “You never expect to have a child pass and most people would never expect it to be in such a horrific way. I think about my son every single day and sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision to remove life support. But the one thing I do know for sure is that my son lives on, and we’ll forever cherish the moments we had with him.”
“This week-long national observance recognizes the critical need for pediatric organ transplants,” says Larry Easterling, M.D., LifeGift associate medical officer. “National Pediatric Transplant Week is an opportunity to note the contributions made each day in restoring young lives while highlighting the critical need that still exists for additional pediatric transplants.”
LifeGift will honor wait list patients, donor families and transplant recipients on our social media channels. Be sure to join us in observing National Pediatric Transplant Week, April 23rd – 29th!
Thanks to the generosity of donors and their families, organ donation saves tens of thousands of lives across the U.S. each year. To register as a life-saving organ, tissue and eye donor, visit www.donatelifetexas.org.