News & Events

NEWS/PHOTO ALBUM: Organ Donor Julio Garcia's Many Gifts

05-17-2011

FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES

When Julio Garcia died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage at the age of 38 in March 2010, his organs saved seven people. He also donated his corneas.

The New York Times on May 17, 2011 reported on an emotional meeting at the New York Organ Donor Network's office between Julio's wife, Mirtala, and five recipients who received Julio's organs. One of them is a two-year-old. The meeting took place May 11.

Like Mirtala, Julio was born in Guatemala. Julio and Mirtala were married for 11 years. He was a craftsman and a carpenter. He also was a pastor at a church and loved to preach the Bible.

 

PHOTO ALBUM

 

The tension rises as the transplant recipients await the arrival of the Garcia family.

 

Elaine Berg, president and CEO of the New York Organ Donor Network, welcomes everyone, especially the transplant recipients and their families.

 

Dr. Herbert Pardes, the president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System, addresses attendees. The donation and some of the transplants took place at hospitals led by Dr. Pardes. Representatives from  Yale-New Haven Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center, where the other transplants took place, are also present.

 

 The Garcia family (the family of Julio, the donor) enters the room. Julio's wife, Mirtala, and two of her sons are led in by the Donor Network's Julia Rivera, director of communications. 

  One of Julio's kidneys went to Edward Santos, a member of the Garcia's family church. This was a directed donation, whereby the family could select someone who was already listed for transplant. The other recipients were all strangers.

 

Thomas Ginz received Julio's lungs. Kevin Lemus, 18, Julio's son, is seated on the right, with other members of Julio's family seated in the background.

 

Sebastiao Lourenco is Julio's heart recipient. Another very emotional moment as he meets Mirtala.

 

Braylen Benitez is two. When he was one, he received a liver segment from Julio. Look at him now!

 

Jo Ann Laskaris, who received the right segment of Julio's liver, embraces Mirtala.

 

Mirtala holds a photo of Julio and herself. She is surrounded by her family, from left: Son Jeffrey (11), son Kevin Lemus (18), daughter Brianna (5), and Julio's sister, Yolanda.

 

Mirtala (wearing a Donate Life green bracelet) with Julio's transplant recipients who attended the meeting. From left: Jo Ann Laskaris (liver segment); Edward Santos (kidney); Thomas Ginz (lungs); Braylen Benitez (liver segment), and Sebastiao Laurenco (heart). 

Photos: New York Organ Donor Network 

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