Recipients Bring Hugs, Thanks to UPMC for Donate Life Month

By Jennifer C. Yates, Tim Betler and Micah Wolf

Every year, transplant recipients come back to UPMC hospitals during Donate Life Month to visit with the nurses, doctors and other staff who helped them. And along the way, they share an important message about what it means to receive the gift of life.

"A lot of the staff don’t get to see the patients post-transplantation living healthy full lives,” said Kate Spiering, R.N., M.S.N., C.N.R.N., an advanced practice nurse in UPMC's neurology and trauma intensive care units.

Georgene M. Thomas, 50, of Mt. Washington, is a heart, double lung and kidney recipient who toured the hospital this week. Wearing a green T-shirt in honor of Donate Life Month's colors of green and blue, she stopped to hug those who cared for her during her stays there.

"I love doing it," she said. "It is just an amazing process to come back and say thank you for all that you did for us. Words can’t describe the feelings when you see somebody."

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