Lung Transplant Meets Donor’s Mother
Two New York women, Diana Rodriguez and Lyndsey McLaughlin, would never have met if it weren’t for one special man. Adrian Rodriguez was Diana’s son and Lyndsey’s Lung donor.
Lyndsey was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 2 and struggled her whole life with the disease that fill your lungs with mucus and, over time, decreases their functionality.
When asked about her condition she said, “I’m 26 years old. I should be out every Friday and Saturday night. I should be at the bars having a couple of drinks, not worrying about how many medicines I’m going to take the next day.”
While Lyndsey was growing up, her parents had to help her with chest physical therapy every day. Despite their efforts, her lung capacity was shrinking. Lyndsey’s mother, Donna, had a very hard time with the whole situation-watching her daughter slowly die.
“I used to go to her apartment every day when she really got sick… and I would walk to work crying,” said Donna. “Knowing that my daughter was dying before my eyes and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.”
Lyndsey had been put on the organ donor waiting list for new lungs, but it seemed hopeless.
Then, out of the blue, on April 3, 2011 she got a call from the hospital, telling her there was a donor and to come and see if she was a match. Sure enough, she was.
After all that time waiting, she finally got what she had been waiting for. But at what cost? The question haunting her now was who was the person whose life had to end so she could live hers?
While most donors remain anonymous, Lyndsey thought she would try anyway. She wanted to learn about the person that had saved her life. After speaking with the registry, she found that the donor’s parents were just as excited to meet her as she was them.
Adrian was an 18-year-old high school senior who loved to cook and had big dreams for his future. One day he was going to school and slipped, fell, and a train clipped his head. Later that night, he was pronounced brain dead.
The New York Organ Donor Network approached Diana and asked her to consider donating Adrian’s organs. At first Diana said, “Just leave me alone. I want to be alone. I want to take my son’s body and go home.”
In the end, Diana made the decision and agreed to donate Adrian’s organs. Below is a video of when the two women met.
Lyndsey and Diana now share a special bond. Lyndsey is alive because of Diana’s son and Diana’s decision to save lives. Lyndsey now lives her life to the fullest to honor Adrien. Saying she often thinks of him. “I think about him every day. When I went to the Great Barrier Reef and I was snorkeling…[and thinking] ‘can you believe we’re here, I can’t believe we’re doing this. I’m here because you did this for me,’”
“I thank him all the time,” she added.