A husband and father of three, Kevin Leid, says, “I’m so fortunate to have the gift of life.”
While loading lumber into his truck at the hardware store, Carson City local, Kevin Leid, suddenly became short of breath and experienced blurred vision. That day in August 2020 changed his life and within five months, he needed oxygen tanks to breathe.
Leid eventually received a diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a long-term lung disease that was genetic in his case. He needed a double lung transplant to live.
Donor Network West is a nonprofit organization that works with transplant centers and hospitals to coordinate the transplantation of life-saving organs throughout northern Nevada and northern California. After experiencing a rapid and aggressive decline in his health, Leid received a phone call on May 25, 2022 from Donor Network West that he will never forget.
“I got the call that I had a lung transplant match at 12:33 a.m.,” Leid said. “I felt this big mix of emotions, feeling both scared and happy. But when I arrived at UC San Francisco for the surgery early that morning, I told the surgeon, ‘Let’s get this show on the road!’”
Donor Network West is the only organ procurement organization in northern Nevada and northern California that is authorized by the United States federal government to save and heal lives through organ donation. It also facilitates eye and tissue donation.
“At Donor Network West, we coordinate the gifts from organ donors with people awaiting life-saving transplants to give recipients like Kevin a second chance at life,” Janice Whaley, President and CEO, Donor Network West, said. “Transplants can grant the precious gift of time for recipients – time with their spouse, children, loved ones and community.”
Since his transplant, Leid has shared messages of hope with others in the community who await lung transplants. He has also been able to enjoy holidays with family and even attended his first Taylor Swift concert, after which he admitted, “I can honestly say I am a ‘Swiftie’ now!”
Leid plans to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his transplant on Thursday, May 25, 2023, and he’s looking forward to enjoying his hobbies – fishing, hunting and golfing – and soon, seeing his son get married in June 2023.
One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and a tissue donor can heal as many as 75 lives. To learn more about organ and tissue donation, or to register as a donor, visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles or DonorNetworkWest.org.
About Donor Network West
Donor Network West saves and heals lives by facilitating organ and tissue recovery for transplantation and research. Established in 1987, Donor Network West is designated and certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), is a member of the Organ Donation Alliance and is an official Donate Life organization. Donor Network West is federally designated to serve 45 counties in northern California and northern Nevada, Donor Network West partners with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state-authorized donor registries to help increase donor registration. For information, visit www.DonorNetworkWest.org and follow us on social media: @mydnwest.
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