CHICAGO (CBS) — More than 200 people who have received heart and lung transplants and their families celebrated their second chances at life Thursday night.
At a celebration in Oak Lawn doctors and caregivers from Advocate Christ Medical Center were back together with people whose lives they saved.
“To see them, how sick they were and how far they’ve come, is really therapy for us as healthcare providers,” said Antone Tatooles, of Advocate Christ Medical Center.
One featured speaker was Heather Dempsey, of Tinley Park.
She received a liver transplant, and eventually married the man who served as her donor.
Their story was turned into a Hallmark holiday movie this year: “Once Upon a Christmas Miracle.”
“He was a complete stranger, and he decided to go get tested for me. Three weeks later I got a phone call from him that he was a perfect match,” Dempsey said.
Advocate says their heart institute performs more than 1,500 heart surgeries every year.