Lifeline: How One Night Changed Five Lives
Mary Zimmeth Schomaker
This amazing chronicle traces the lives of four people, each close to death from their own diseased body parts, who are saved by transplants from one man. In Minneapolis in early 1991, a van struck Donald Mills (related to the author by marriage) as he bicycled over to a friend's house to deliver a library book. With the clock ticking, the narrative interweaves this tragedy with the situations of a heart disease victim, a man and a woman suffering from kidney failure, and a child in dire need of a new liver. Even with the best surgical care, Donald was declared brain-dead. LifeLine, also the name of the organ procurement agency--delves into the care and removal of his donated organs ("multiple harvesting," in this case), how each recipient learned about his or her impending transplant, and the various operations involved. By blending emotionally charged anecdotes with facts, Schomaker's approach to the complexities of organ transplantation provides both understanding and powerful reading.