Memphis-area patients awaiting lifesaving transplants

Memphis, Tenn., Dec. 2, 2015 – This holiday season, some local residents are awaiting gifts more special than all the rest, and one woman has something to be especially thankful for.

Right now, more than 122,000 people are awaiting lifesaving organ transplants in the U.S. And 2,875 of those waiting are right here in Tenn.

According the, the six most expensive medical procedures of 2015 are all transplants. A heart transplant can cost close to $1 million, and a kidney transplant—the most commonly transplant organ—is $250,000.

Even with health coverage, that number can be overwhelming, as these patients are also facing a lifetime of follow-up care and medications. Because of the national shortage of organ donors, many hospitals must require a fundraising deposit before patients can even be added to the transplant waiting list.

For fundraising expertise and guidance, more than 2,000 patients a year turn to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance. NFT is a nonprofit organization based in Memphis, Tenn. that helps patients raise funds to pay for transplant-related expenses.

Patients like Pamela Williams, Robert Jackson, Harold Woodson and Ondra Harris.

Pamela Williams: Williams, of Memphis, is awaiting a double-lung transplant, as she suffers from an autoimmune disease that has severely damaged her lungs.

Robert Jackson: Jackson, of Memphis, has experienced breathing issues for as long as he can remember, and he was recently diagnosed with sarcoidosis. Doctors say a double-lung transplant is critical to his survival.

Harold Woodson: Woodson, of Bartlett, is also awaiting a double-lung transplant as a result of sarcoidosis. Because of his insurance requirements for his high-risk surgery, he had to temporarily relocate to Houston to await his transplant at a hospital there.

Ondra Harris: Harris, of Collierville, is especially grateful this year, as she received a lifesaving heart transplant on Sept. 11 after battling viral cardiomyopathy.

“I am constantly amazed at the determination and resiliency of so many of our patients,” said Claire Prince, NFT fundraising consultant. “They often call us overwhelmed by the daunting expenses, but with the support of their loved ones and NFT, they begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel. We’re dedicated to helping our patients raise the funds they need to afford lifesaving care and treatment.”

To make a tax-deductible donation to help any of these patients, please send a contribution to the NFT Tennessee Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write the patient’s name on the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at “Find an NFT Patient” to search for a specific page.

About NFT
NFT is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Memphis, Tenn. that has been helping transplant patients overcome financial obstacles since 1983. NFT provides fundraising expertise to transplant patients by organizing fundraising campaigns in the patients’ own communities. NFT’s fundraising campaigns have generated nearly $75 million to assist patients. NFT assists more than 2,500 transplant candidates and recipients nationwide. For more information about NFT, please call 800-489-3863 or visit