Families connected through organ donor meet for first time

Organ recipient meets donor's family

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A teenager’s decision to become an organ donor several years ago saved a man’s life.

Bob D’Amelio was in need of a liver, and he received one in January 2018 at CMC Main. His donor was 19 year old Connor McLane, who died in a car accident. Both families wrote letters requesting to meet each other.

The request was granted and the families met virtually this past weekend. D’Amelio says he is doing fine and Connor’s mother told D’Amelio her reaction when she found out her son decided to become an organ donor.

“He came home when he was 16,” Connor’s mother Cindy McLane said. “And he had it on his license - when he got his license and I told him go take that off. I’m from Concord originally and I’ve heard all types of stories. He said ‘no, mom - if that ever happened to me I want to be able to give whatever can be given’ and I said ‘good thing you are young enough we’ll never have to use it’ and shame on me....This has turned out to be the best gift - the final gift he has left behind for me as a mom.”

Both families agreed to stay in contact with each other. Connor’s parents said Conner had a sweet tooth and D’Amelio said after the operation, he now craves sweets. Conner was able to donate his heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.

Currently 110,770 people are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant in the US while 3,264 people are on the waiting list in North Carolina. In 2019 39,719 transplants were performed and 576 transplants were performed in North Carolina. One donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation.

The DMV is not the only place people can sign up to be a donor but people can register an organ, eye, and tissue donor at anytime online at LifeShareCarolinas.org.

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