WDMA Prop C

A giving heart

by | Feb 17, 2016 | Latest

 

By Joe Reavis

Staff Writer

[email protected]

The sudden death of her father in 2014 turned into a positive, life-changing event for Dana Ashley of Wylie through the organ donor program of Southwest Transplant Alliance.

Her father, Jim Ashley, had expressed interest in donating his organs if he were to die and his wish helped give life to a number of people needing transplants.

“My father was a very giving person,” the Wylie woman said. “His last gift to give was life.”

Jim, 54, owned a moving company in Dallas and in July 2014 he was loading a truck when he collapsed, fell out of the truck and hit his head. Dana reported that her father was diagnosed with having suffered head trauma, but an autopsy later revealed that he suffered a massive stroke.

Dana and her husband, Clynt, were in Houston at the time of the accident and immediately rushed home to the hospital, as did her brother, Justin. They learned on arrival that their father was not responsive and no brain activity could be detected. At that point, the siblings made the decision to approve donation of organs.

“My dad was always very open with my brother and I,” Dana said. “We knew everything he wanted, and organ donation was one of those things.”

SWT stepped in to facilitate the process of testing the organs, contacting donor lists and counseling family members. Jim was on life support for a week to keep the organs functioning until surgery could be performed to harvest the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver.

“Once they found matches for everything, they let us know when the surgery would take place,” Dana recalled. “We all said our goodbyes.”

“In a day full of fog, that was the only thing that kept us going, to know that he would live on,” she added.

Since her father’s death and donation of his organs, the Wylie woman has become an active advocate for STA, often helping staff information booths at public events, such as concerts at GEXA Center in Dallas, and giving talks about organ donation. She also visited with family members who have met recipients of their loved ones’ organs and decided to reach out to the man who received her father’s heart.

The transplant organization facilitates the process of connecting a donor family member with a recipient, after determining whether a recipient is receptive to a meeting. The process takes some time, but Dana reported that the recipient of her father’s heart agreed to meeting her and they got together last summer after visiting on the telephone several times.

Ironically, Dana pointed out, the recipient, a man in his 70s, has the same first name as her father and lives in the same Garland neighborhood in which she and her brother were reared. Dana and Justin went to visit and were treated to brownies and iced tea provided by the recipient’s wife. They presented him with a gift of an eagle statuette because their father liked eagles.

“We were there for hours. The conversation just kept going,” Ashley said. “His personality is sort of like my dad’s.”

For full story see The Wylie News at http://www.etypeservices.com/Wylie%20NewsID245/default.aspx.

Dana Ashley listens to Jim Luna's heart. Dana's dad Jim Ashley, passed away suddenly in 2014 and Luna was the recipient of his heart.

Dana Ashley listens to Jim Luna’s heart. Dana’s dad, Jim Ashley, passed away suddenly in 2014 and Luna was the recipient of his heart.

0 Comments

Related News

Raiders ready to rumble in 6A

Raiders ready to rumble in 6A

The Wylie East Raiders football team is hitting the ground running in the offseason, looking forward to big changes. The major change at Wylie East is the move up to 6A sports starting in the fall. Moving into District 9-6A with Wylie and Garland ISD, the team is...

read more
City will not play ball with YMCA

City will not play ball with YMCA

The Wylie Recreation Center will stay under the control of the city, council decided after discussions concerning the center were held during the May 10 regular meeting. The recreation center currently operates at a loss, and council has held several meetings to...

read more
Wylie Fire-Rescue opens Fire Station No. 4

Wylie Fire-Rescue opens Fire Station No. 4

Wylie Fire-Rescue held a pair of ceremonies over the weekend to officially open Fire Station No. 4. The grand opening ceremony was held Friday, May 13, and a Push-In Ceremony was held Saturday, May 14, at the newest fire station, located at 3200 McMillen Drive. Along...

read more
Parker named city manager

Parker named city manager

After serving as interim city manager since October of last year, Brent Parker accepted the city manager position during the Tuesday, May 11, regular council meeting. Parker accepted the position after council reconvened from a brief executive session. “I want to...

read more
Summer reading is set to begin

Summer reading is set to begin

Several programs — and prizes — will be available for readers of all ages as the Smith Public Library encourages area residents to pick up a book this summer. The Summer Reading Club, hosted by the library, offers many prizes for children, teens and adults...

read more
Pirates lose in regional quarterfinals

Pirates lose in regional quarterfinals

It was the end of the line for the Wylie Pirates softball team, who were swept in the regional quarterfinals by Waco Midway. The Pirates (14-0, 31-11) struggled in game one of the series Friday night at Midlothian High School, losing 11-1. Wylie started the game...

read more
Early voting begins today

Early voting begins today

Early voting for the Democrat and Republican primary runoff elections begins today and runs through Friday, May 20. Election Day is Tuesday, May 24. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. during early voting and on Election Day. Texas is an open primary state,...

read more
Pirates win two medals at state

Pirates win two medals at state

The Wylie Pirates took home some silverware at the track and field state championships on Saturday. Competing in three events, Wylie had two medalists on the day. Nathanael Berhane started off the day with a personal record in the 3200, placing third overall...

read more
Fatal crash on State Highway 78 May 11

Fatal crash on State Highway 78 May 11

The Farmersville Fire Department, Police Department and Collin County Sheriff’s office responded to a fatal crash involving three vehicles around 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 11. Caleb Edwards, 19, was pronounced dead at the scene after his car collided head-on with a...

read more