The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas on April 24, 1986 · Page 18
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The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas · Page 18

Baytown, Texas
Issue Date:
Thursday, April 24, 1986
Page 18
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Page 18 article text (OCR)

fl-Il THE BAYTOWN SUN Thursday, April 24, 1986 OPLE Rodriguez family lucky Neimeyers turn grief into action Program brings gain in registered donors In an effort to decrease the Dumber of unnecessary deaths (Vie to the lack of an available cl.mor organ, the Texas Legislature has made significant changes in the process by .shich drivers can indicate their •-villingness to become an organ The Department of Public Safety now asks new license or renewal applicants if they are in- i. 'rested in becoming an organ • ;.>nor. Those who say yes receive in(• TinaUon, submit it to The Liv- n. g Bank and thus become a U'gistered donor. "The success is far more than \\e expected," said Bill ijrewster, executive director of i he Living Bank. "We are i ccciving an average of 12,000 inclines per month. At this rate v. e will be leading the nation in registered donors. Everyone in trie medical field has searched for the way to encourage more organ and tissue donation. We feel we have found the way." Brewster said 99 percent of all people who register indicate they want to donate all organs and tissues, "which makes it much easier to approach the family for consent at the time of death." He said it also makes more tissue available for the donations such as bone and skin transplants that the public may not have knowledge of. George Griffin, chief of drive and vehicle registration for the states, said the DPS is privileged to play "such an active role in this worthy project." Griffin said Wyoming has adopted a program similar to the Texas one and DPS is receiving inquiries about the program from other states as well as foreign countries. Woman jockey is modest about career achievements OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Florida's winningest woman jockey has put her thoroughbred racing career "in the barn" for a while as she awaits a visit from I lie stork this summer. "I'll be back." guarantees Mary Russ. described by experts as one of the best women ; iciei'S in the country. Tall for a jockey at 5 foot 4. she exercises diligently to keep her \\eight around 110 pounds. For most of her five-year pro- tt-ssional career, she's ridden 7(iu !>U(J mounts a year, mostly at South Florida's three tracks: ('alder. Hialeah and Gulfstream. However, she's also left her mark at major tracks around the country, such as Aqueduct. Belmont and Saratoga. "I have no idea how many races I've won. but I imagine it's over 500." she says matter-of- kictty. She's reticent about her achievements, but records show Unit last year she was the first woman ever to ride in a stakes nice at Keeneland and Omaha. She won both aboard Harry N. Bill. In 1982. with one year's experience, she won the Grade I Widener Handicap at Hialeah aboard Lord Barnley. Prior to that, she was the leading rider at Calder's Tropical meet. Russ has also been in the winner's circle for the Gulfstream Handicap. "If she isn't already, she's pretty close to being one of the leading women jockeys in the country." said Frank Alexander, a Miami Lakes trainer. Unlike most jockeys who begin their careers at an early age. Russ didn't get her first ride until she was 26. "I never had a pet as a kid. not even a dog." she recalls of her childhood in Tampa. At 15. she became "horse crazy" when she took care of a girlfriend's horse. "I was a chunky kid and weighed about 125." she said, "too big to be a jockey." Over the years. Russ has had her share of falls and broken bones, but remains undaunted. Cards provide moms a laugh KANSAS CITY. Mo. (AP) - Tliis year's Mother's Day cards reflect the fact that motherhood is back in style, says an official of a greeting card company with headquarters in Kansas City. The current crop of sentiments i f-fjognizes that there's more to motherhood than baby talk and !."jtties. and reflects its reality — and humor, says Sally Groves. greeting card product director at Hallmark Cards. "Mothers, including the 3.7 million who will give birth this year, know that being a mother is hard work." she says, "and a good laugh can provide some much-needed relief. "Friends can be the best support system a mother has, and there's no better time to show that support than Mother's Day," she adds. A special group of the company's cards, for example, is designed for friends to give to each other. They describe the victory of dressing a squirming infant, the sanctuary of a relaxing and prolonged bubble bath as family members vainly knock on the door, or the horrors of housework. One offers some advice for a great Mother's Day: "Pile the kids, the dog, sandwiches, potato chips, soft drinks, games and a radio into the car ... then go back to bed and go to sleep." Other cards confirm that the job of being a mother is doubly difficult when mom works. One, for instance, has a carnival barker extolling the miracle of the modern age: "She walks, she talks, she juggles a challenging career and an active family life! Fantastic? Incredible?" Inside, the card says, "Happy Mother's Day to the star of the show." Another asks what you get when you cross an octopus with a high-speed computer, and answers, "I don't know, but it still can't do everything a working mother can do!" A card that shows a young mother in robe and slippers holding a screaming baby on her hip while ironing a blouse says. "Being a mother is a snap: First your mind snaps, then your nerves snap ..." "Such cards are really inside jokes, and sending them is a way for mothers to share feelings, as well as support each other," Groves savs. By LINNEA SCHLOBOHM They wear beepers. They keep a suitcase packed. Most have a group of supportive friends waiting to rush them to the hospital. And they hope. For the victims of terminal organ diseases, every day holds the possibility that a donor organ will become available — and with it a new chance at life. But for many, that new liver or heart will never come. ALYSSA NEIMEYER Although the success rate or organ transplant surgery has skyrocketed in the past few years, patients die daily for lack of a donor organ. Fourteen-year-old Ana Rodriguez of Baytown is one of the lucky ones. She is recovering at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston from liver transplant surgery. On Feb. ll Ana made history when she became the first child to receive a liver transplant in Houston. Ana received the liver of a 7- year-old New York girl who died after being hit by a car while running to catch a school bus . She is now expected to survive the previously always fatal liver disorder, cholesterol ester storage disease. Although recovery will be a long process. Ana can now look forward to living a normal life. She has already resumed her school studies under the guidance of a tutor who comes to the hospital daily and is looking forward to doing lots of things other youngsters take for granted but which she has never- been able to try — like going bike riding with her friends. Even though her parents. Juan and Norma Rodriguez, face huge medical bills and Ana will be a patient at Texas Children's for some time to come, her future looks immeasurably brighter than it did a few months ago. Alyssa Neimeyer was not as fortunate as Ana. She was born June 13. 1985. the daughter of Tom and Ann Neimeyer of North Shore. By the time she was six weeks old. doctors suspected she had a problem and two weeks of rigorous testing confirmed that she suffered from the liver disorder, biliary artresia. Surgery and medication failed to buy Alyssa the time she desperately needed and she died Dec. 17 because a donor organ did not become available in time to replace her diseased liver. Now her parents are working SAVE ON ROOFING • Insulates as a nx>f-over • Ideal for patio roof • Aitracmvskirtinj> malt-rial • Won't rust or corrodf • Can hi- repainted any rolor • Conk-mporary look ONDULINE ROOFING SALE! Regular Price $ 10.99 NOW ONLY $9.99 colors in ttock: Brown £ Rod SpocMi frk«: Groy, Wfcitt, Gromi, Ton, Mock, HIM "For AN To»r i>a<i«| MctorM MoooV' Wood Home Center OnduKne The Lifetime Roofing earnestly to keep as many other families as possible from suffering the agony they have endured. They began by giving Alyssa's healthy corneas to The Eye Bank and donating her other organs for research. "It was her last chance to do something good for someone else," Mrs. Neimeyer said. Having heard of Ana's surgery and knowing that the operation ANA RODRIGUEZ cost in the neighborhood of S150.000 they also met with Ana's parents and donated the 510,000 friends and family had raised in the hope that a liver would be found for Alyssa to the Ana Rodriguez Medical Fund. Finally, they are working to spread the message that organ donation can play a vital role in saving lives. Joyce Riley, program director of Houston's Living Bank, the only organ and tissue donor registry in the world, said that since Alyssa's death Mrs. Neimeyer has been working "tirelessly" so other babies can live by receiving transplants. Ms. Riley said the Living Bank is a non-profit organization whose function is to register organ donors, to carry out their wishes at the time of death and to coordinate organ donations to the appropriate medical facilities. She said although thousands of people are on donor waiting lists, many more than this number die every year who are potential donors. "Every day there are those who die of traumatic accidents, gunshot wounds or suicide. They are the potential organ and tissue donors for those who desperately await a reprieve from devastating illness," Ms. Riley said. She acknowledged that the decision to donate organs is a difficult one and hospital personnel are relucant to approach families on the subject. "By discussing it while alive, the decision is much easier for the family at the time of death," She said. Ms. Riley said there is no expense to donor families or delay in funeral arrangements as a result of making the decision to donate. She tells story after story of unselfish parents whose children died suddenly in accidents or from other causes, but who had the presence of mind to try to help another child. She tells of a woman who woke to find her 42- year-old husband had suffered a fatal heart attack after he had gone to sleep. Ms. Riley said that even in her grief, the woman had the presence of mind to see that his vital organs went to help other people. One of the thousands of victims of organ disease waiting for a transplant is 1-year-old Lisa Barnes of Bay town, who also needs a new liver. Lisa's friends have conducted a massive fund-raising effort to help pay for her transplant surgery, but they cannot buy Lisa a new liver. For children like Lisa to have a chance at life, Ms. Riley said another family will have to do what the Neimeyer's did. She said that although suffering from personal tragedy, they will have to think of others and donate their child's usable organs in the hope of improving or saving another life. Note: Information about organ donation is available by calling The Living Bank, 5282971, or writing to The Living Bank, P.O. Box 6725, Houston, Texas 77265. I Please support the AMERICAN 4> CANCER ? SOCIETY 9 Ne\v in the miracle-drug field: Miami's Mount Sinai Mcdioal Center markets ils own brand of chicken soup. Premature infants horn with respiratory stress syndrom because of immature lun^s arc being saved with surfactant — substonce that helps air sacs open up — from calf lun^s. Mclhtxl was devised in Canada. Smokeless tobacco continues to be studied for possible adverse health effects. The area under study include possible connection to throat and mouth cancers and tooth damage. Relief from irritable bowel syndrome has come from an unlikely source: dextromethorphan, an ingredient in many cough and cold medications. 'Treatment was initialed at the University of California-Irvine. Veteran's Administration researchers, working with more data and computers to digest the. numbers, have developed a new. more accurate way to interpret stress tests. Method seems to result in fewer false-positives, which indicate heart problems that do not exist. We keep up with tr.o news in medicine, the better to serve you at Medical 1'harmacy. Put us on your health care team. FREE BLOOD PRESSURE CHECK Friday, April 25 9-11, 1-4 MEDICAL PHARMACY 521 Pork a 422-8146 YOU CANT DO BETTER THAN Open Daily 9:00-9:30 Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. SALE PRICES GOOD THRU SUNDAY 4-27-86 Vertagreen "Tu-Fer" Sale Specially formulated for southern soils and lawns. Keeps grass greener, longer. Promotes a thick lush deep green lawn COVERS 5.000 sq.ft. a /*a.99 Weed & Feed for St. Augusline Double duty. Weeds as it feeds. Specially formulated for St. Augustine Centipede and Zoysia grasses Contains Atrazine pre-and-posl emergent control of crabgrass and annual broaoleaf weeds , COVERS 3.000 sq.ft. MIX or MA TCH - VERTAGREEN HOME PEST KILLER & DURSBAN GRANULES. RID YOUR PROPERTY OF INSECTS, INSIDE OR OUT. Controls chinch bugs, sod webworms. ants, crickets, cutworms, earwigs, fleas, sowbugs. white grubs. Hypeode weevils and other lawn insects. COVERS 5.000 sq.ft. 2 /*11.49 •Lony Lasting Control •Kills Common Housohold Pests •Ready to Use • No Mixing •Prolessional Strength Half Gallon With Sprayer 2 /*11.49 1 801 N. PRUETT in BAYTOWN

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