As part of our Visions Special highlighting Hispanic American Heritage Month, we profile Luis Palau, Jr., a Philadelphia resident of Puerto Rican descent who received a life-saving double-lung transplant from the Gift of Life Donor Program.
The Gift of Life organization is our region's organ and tissue transplant network.
Last year, they were successful in coordinating the most transplants anywhere in the United States. There are over 100,000 people waiting for organ transplants in the U.S., of which about 20% or 20,000 people are Latino. In our area, there are more than 5,000 people on the waitlist, 400 Latinos.
Two years ago, Palau, Jr. 51 was diagnosed with a rare type of pneumonia. The infection accelerated and he was taken to Temple Hospital and intubated.
Unfortunately, Palau, Jr. fell into a coma for three months, during which he had a near-death experience. Soon after, he received the double-lung transplant through the Gift of Life Donor Program.
Now, with a new set of lungs and a renewed appreciation for life, Luis is on a mission to increase awareness about the need for organ donation.
401 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123
To register to be an organ donor, go to donors one.org