Laura- Donor Family
I was first impacted by organ/tissue donation at the young age of 2. My mom, Myrl Bandy, tragically died in an auto accident, and her donated cornea restored the eyesight to a very grateful lady. Organ donation was the topic of my very first speech in 6th grade. Little did I know, my life would be further impacted years later. Mike Bandy, my father, had a heart attack when he was 39 years old. Over the next several years, he faced multiple procedures and physician appointments to battle his slowly declining health. It was in July, 2009 that my dad was faced with the reality that he needed to be added to the heart transplant waiting list. In September, 2009, Dad had an open heart procedure to receive an LVAD to help his heart pump. It was a short 6 months later, on March 13, 2010, that Dad received his new heart. The donor was a 26 year old young man, whose family understood that lives could be saved and changed through their generous donation. Dad was able to attend my graduation from physical therapy school 2 months following his transplant. He was able to give me advice in deciding where I wanted to accept my first job offer as a PT. He was able to meet, and approve, of my husband. He was able to meet his first grandson and watch him grow. He was able to see me succeed in life, work, and live out my dreams. Dad always asked if I was happy, and if I wasn’t, he assured me that it was up to me to change what wasn’t making me happy. He taught me to live life to the fullest. He taught me to spend quality time with the ones I care about. I couldn’t have found anyone to support me any more than what my daddy did. Dad passed away December 21, 2014. As a result, he was able to donate his cornea and restore the eyesight of two men. Dad was a huge supporter of organ donation, for good reason. He would have wanted nothing more than to be able to change someone’s life through organ and tissue donation. I am committed to being an advocate for organ and tissue donation. Lives are saved and impacted with someone simply saying “yes”.