The gift of life turned into a gift of many lives for organ recipient John Casey.
Casey, of Cave Creek, was 24 when doctors diagnosed him with a rare liver disease. He fought vigorously for 12 years until death seemed inevitable.
In July 2005, Casey was admitted to Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix and was placed on the national waiting list for a new liver. As the weeks went by, his condition worsened.
Within days of being taken off the donor list, Casey got his second chance. A liver came in from a male donor.
"I would have been way too sick to be a recipient," he said. "It really was a just-in-time delivery."
Casey returned to work in a matter of months after his transplant. Not long after that, he got married. He and his wife, Kelly, now have two young sons.
Casey's story highlights how important it is to be a registered organ and tissue donor, said Kris Patterson, a spokeswoman for Donor Network of Arizona.
The Arizona Republic, by Beth Duckett, April 16, 2010