A lifesaving holiday wish – the gift of life

Published 7:15 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2018


News release

During the holiday season, many wishes come true. Some wish for a meaningful family gathering while a child may wish for a favorite toy or game. For 16-year-old Brayden Morris, his wish is for the Gift of Life.

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Brayden is from Muhlenberg County and has been awaiting a heart transplant for six months.   He has seen many friends at the Children’s hospital where he receives medical care, receive a lifesaving organ transplant. Brayden’s holiday wish is that it is his turn now.

“My son, Brayden was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. He has undergone three open heart surgeries, 10 surgeries total, plus numerous heart catheterizations and stress tests,” said Brayden’s mother, Melissa Morris. Despite his health issues his mother says, “He has lead a relatively normal life. He loves basketball. Brayden wants to go to college and become a basketball coach.”

In June of this year, Brayden suffered a stroke due to the pumping of his heart being so weak.  While he recovered well from the stroke, his family realized his need for a new heart was more urgent than they previously thought.

During the holidays, many of us wish to give back but struggle to find the time and means to do so. There is something everyone can do year-round that costs nothing, takes less than a minute, and helps teens like Brayden. Joining the Organ Donor Registry gives hope to thousands of children, adults, and their families.

“Everyone can join the Organ Donor Registry,” explains Boyle Circuit Clerk, Cortney Shewmaker. “Registering and supporting the gift of life means so much to families in need.  Joining the Registry is saying ‘If I could help someone when I’m gone, I’m willing to save a life.’  There are over 1,000 Kentuckians, and 115,000 Americans in need of a lifesaving organ transplant. Many more in need of tissue and cornea transplants. Tragically, each day, 22 patients will die waiting for their gift of life.”

The Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life works to increase the number of registered organ donors to save patients like Brayden.

“As your Circuit Court Clerk, I am proud of our deputy clerks for asking every person obtaining a license or ID if they would like to donate $1 to increase education about organ donation. We also ask everyone to join the Organ Donor Registry. It only takes a moment to say ‘yes’,” explains Shewmaker.

Brayden’s mother says, “I can’t wait to see what Brayden can do with a healthy heart! I send heartfelt thanks to all those who choose to donate life as a registered organ donor.”

“Thanks to the kindness of this community and the dedication my hardworking staff, many lives have been saved. However, the need is still there. Do you have questions about organ donation? You can call (866) 945-5433 and talk to specialists at Kentucky’s organ donation awareness program,” explains Shewmaker.

For more info or to read more stories similar to Brayden’s go to trustforlife.org. There are medical or age limitations to joining the Registry. You can get the heart on your license at your Circuit Clerks’ Office, or go to registerme.org or simply click on the Medical ID app of your iPhone.

The Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life (TFL) is a non-profit organization that informs, educates, and encourages Kentuckians to be registered organ & tissue donors to save lives. Kentucky was recognized by Donate Life America for highest increase in Registry rates in 2016.  For more info call 1-866-945-5433, email info@trustforlife.org or visit trustforlife.org.