BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Celebrating National Donate Life Month during the month of April, one Binghamton man is sharing the story of how an organ donation saved his life.
Joe Heil was at a routine doctors appointment when he found out his liver enzymes were high. The father of two was told he had Hepatitis C and faced a liver disease diagnosis.
Heading down a difficult road, his wife Charlotte Heil says his treatment options quickly diminished.
“The doctors said his only other option is to try to get on the transplant list,” said Charlotte Heil.
He was put on the list in 2005 and lived a normal life until 2011 when he found himself in the hospital.
Taking a turn for the worse, his wife says he probably wouldn’t have survived another 48 hours. Heil said he was prepared for death when doctors said they found him a new organ.
The couple says the liver came from an 18-year-old boy named Adrian who was severely injured in a train accident.
Holding back tears, Joe Heil says, “I’d give my life for him if I could.”
Charlotte now travels our area sharing Joe’s story and educating others on the benefits of organ donations.
A gift Joe Heil thinks of everyday as he says, “It’s just great to be alive.”
For more information on organ donation, click here.