Parents Raise Awareness For Organ Donation - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Parents Raise Awareness For Organ Donation

SPOKANE, Wash. – You won't find many teenagers tired of playing video games, but 14-year-old Kyle Erwin would rather jump on a trampoline or ride his bike with friends than sit in front of a television all day.

Erwin was born with a congenital heart defect and after multiple procedures and surgeries to repair the heart and rebuild his airway, his parents worry exertion or exercise could overwhelm his heart.

"We have been on high alert with his heart because if we stress it, he could have an event," said Kyle's mom, Kim Erwin.

Doctors determined Kyle needs a new heart and placed him on a transplant list in September.  Kyle has been at the top of the list since October, but doctors have not found a suitable match.

So Kyle spends much of his day at home and going to school only part-time while he rests from the fatigue of a heart pumping about a third of the normal blood volume.

"A good day feels like getting up and having the energy to do anything," he said.  "A bad day feels like you don't want to do anything."

Kyle's parents are working to raise awareness of organ donation in hopes of increasing Kyle's odds of finding a matching donor and donor programs as a whole.

"This isn't so much about us looking for a heart for Kyle as much as it is we're looking for a broader awareness of organ donation," said Kyle's dad, Mark.  "I think the message I would have for people is to think about it before you're in that circumstance." 

Donate Life America works to educate the public about organ donor programs across the country.

Authorities estimate more than 100,000 people currently need life-saving organ transplants.  Donate Life America says 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.

For more information on how to become an organ donor, click here.

KHQ Local News Reporter Anthony Gomes contributed to this report.

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