MURRAY, Utah (News4Utah) — A successful organ transplant takes incredible coordination, teamwork and timing.
But it has become routine at the transplant programs at Intermountain Medical Center.
In this sponsored segment, part three in ‘Faces of Transplant.’ There’s a lot of fear when we talk transplants. Sometimes it’s not the doctors or nurses who ease the anxiety but volunteers.
Seventy-five years young, George Gates is a longtime volunteer at Intermountain Medical Center.
“I’ve been volunteering for 16 and a half years.”
Who better to talk to patients, than someone, who’s been there before.
“I was transplanted September 21st, 2000.”
A year later, he was back at Intermountain Medical Center, not as a patient but to help others. He was inspired by a volunteer who helped George through his own liver transplant.
“He was such an inspiration to me, I’m going to do what he done,” said George.
“What I love about George is he engages in my new patients,” said Craig Myrick.
Myrick is the nurse transplant manager at Intermountain Medical Center. He says George’s role is vital. He meets with patients before, during and after surgery telling them what to expect every step of the way.
George has helped countless patients like Lynn Steadman from Idaho.
“He was a mentor and i really appreciated him for that,” said Lynn.
Lynn is less than two months out from receiving a liver.
He was on the waiting list for so long, about 12 years, doctors were about to take him off the list.
“He helped me understand why I was going through some of these emotions,” said Lynn.
Nurse Myric knows instantly when George has already talked with one of his patients and their families.
“Many of their questions are answered. That’s how it makes my job easier. I’ve not been through a transplant. I can’t speak to that. George can speak to that.”
“He makes me feel like I want to share my story to help others the way he has,” said Lynn.
“I do it because I enjoy seeing people get back to their normal self. We don’t just transplant to save their life but we give their life back,” said George.
“I’m amazed at that level of volunteerism, 16 plus years, helping our patients through the most challenging time of their life,” said Myrick.
“It’s humanity at its best,” said Lynn.
If you would like to volunteer, call Volunteer Services at Intermountain Medical Center at 801-507-2980.