Mahoning County woman’s memory lives on after saving 5 on donor wait list

Local News

A Mahoning County woman’s memory lives on after giving life to five people through organ donations, and one of those people was already dear to her heart.

Mike Rogers got a life-saving transplant in December. He was suffering from Alport Syndrome, which placed him on a kidney wait list at the Cleveland Clinic.

“It’s very rare how well it matched, and for circumstances given, it’s something you wouldn’t expect,” said Josi Brown.

Brown’s mother, Karey, gave the kidney. She died from a brain aneurysm on Dec. 3. Four days later, her daughter’s boyfriend received the organ. 

She was able to direct it to him since he was on the wait list. 

“How I feel now is hope, being able to live life through things I missed out on,” Rogers said. 

Dialysis can take a toll, but Rogers said he is feeling stronger and more energetic every day.

Karey was 46-years old when she passed away. Rogers said she would joke that she was going to give him a kidney. He got the family’s blessing to receive it after finding out it was a good match. 

Rogers said he thinks of Karey every time he sees Josi. 

“I see her all the time in her. How she jokes around and everything.”

Karey’s organs were able to help five people. Both kidneys, her liver, heart and a lung went to people in need. Josi said her mother was someone special. 

“She lives on through him. How I take it is it’s her telling him that it’s his turn to take care of me,” she said.

There are 3,000 Ohioans still on the transplant waiting list. 

For more information on registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor, visit lifebanc.org.

To read about Josie taking part in Over the Edge for Lifebanc, click here.

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