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I’m Ready to Donate! Why Should I Choose UVA Health For Living Organ Donation?

Christina Miller smiling to the camera and holding Josie Curvin in her lap

For National Donate Life Month, consider becoming a living organ donor today. As a living donor, you can help one of the more than 100,000 people who are right now waiting for a transplant get a new kidney or liver.

About 17 people a day die while waiting for an organ to become available. Living organ donation can help reduce that number, especially for the 86% of folks on the list needing a kidney.

We’ve already gone over why you should become a living organ donor and a bit about how to become a living donor. As a living donor at UVA Health, you can donate:

Giving and receiving organs requires thorough care and high-quality attention. At UVA Health, you benefit from:

Read on to see what one donor and an organ recipient's family had to say about the care they got here at UVA Health.

How Expertise Made William’s Liver Transplant Succeed

William Bell's struggles with liver disease began very early in life. A few weeks after birth, he was diagnosed with biliary atresia. He was connected to UVA Health.

He eventually developed cirrhosis and portal hypertension. It became clear that he was headed for a liver transplant. “Many babies don’t receive surgical intervention because they aren’t diagnosed in time. We’re incredibly thankful that wasn’t the case for William," said Maria Bell, William's mom.

Having a Transplant Expert Made the Difference


Your generous act could save the life of a loved one, a friend, or even a stranger.

Yet, through it all, William and his family counted on the support of his care team, led by Frank DiPaola, MD.

“Because of how they framed this problem at the outset, none of these outcomes, or the complications along the way, were surprises,” said Ryan Bell, William’s dad. “That was helpful in a way that gave the entire family confidence.”

William’s grandparents also were impressed by the care William received. “There was a distinct difference in UVA Health’s approach to patient care, especially on the pediatric side,” noted Gaylon, William’s grandfather. His grandmother, Cathy said, “We can’t stress enough the brilliance and the skill level of the doctors, combined with their humility. It makes you feel like you’re with loving family.”

In December 2022, William received a living liver donation from an anonymous donor.

Today, William is a healthy boy who is growing fast. He still has regular check-ins with DiPaola and his team.

How a Robust Support Team Made Christina’s Donation Smooth

Christina Miller became a living organ donor when she came across a cry for help online. “On Facebook, a friend of mine had shared a post about a baby who needed a liver transplant,” she recounted. She reached out to the family of Josie Curvin, a toddler in liver failure who needed a life-saving transplant.

Christina credits the staff at UVA Health for putting her mind at ease when making her choice. “They told me exactly what to expect. They were really straightforward and honest. And so, I feel like I knew what I was getting into. Basically, the surgery and the recovery went exactly as they had expected. So I feel they did a really good job prepping me for that.”

Communication & Convenience Lead to A Happy Outcome

At UVA Health, we were able to make her living donation experience as smooth as possible. “The living donor coordinator did a really good job at scheduling everything to be on the same day. It made it more convenient. There were blood draws, an EKG, a chest X-ray, a CT scan, an MRI. It’s a lot in 1 day. But it's kind of nice because you just knock it all down at once,” said Christina.

She and Josie went through successful donation and transplant procedures. One of Christina’s first questions after waking up from surgery was “How’s Josie?” Thanks to Christina, Josie improved almost immediately. Recently, Josie’s mom shared a video with Christina of Josie taking her first steps.

UVA Health’s Transplant & Living Organ Donation Expertise

At UVA Health, our expertise dates all the way back to the early days of organ transplant, before we had most of the techniques and medicines we use today. We’ve been caring for transplant donors and patients since 1967. We’ve done more than 7,000 transplants and counting.

When you decide to become a living organ donor, you want the best care available before, during, and after your donation. As the only comprehensive transplant center in Virginia, we deliver the highest-quality care to both living organ donors and recipients. And we’re constantly working to improve that level of care. Check out how we stack up.

As a living organ donor, you’ll have your own care team focused just on you:

When you decide to come to UVA Health to make a living organ donation, we’ll support your health and honor your choice to donate at every stage, from start to finish.

Consider a living organ donation at UVA Health. Your decision could change a life today.

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