Maurice Allen was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2004 at just 45 years old. But it wasn’t until 2016 that doctors told him he needed a kidney and heart transplant to survive. During his time on the transplant waitlist, Maurice developed bleeding problems relating to his existing heart pump and blood thinners, spending six months in the hospital. “Within the space of two months, I received 12 blood transfusions,” he said. Doctors decided to stop his blood thinners and sent him home, but not before explaining that he ran the risk of a blood clot, heart attack or stroke.
Before he went home on Monday, Feb. 13, he prayed. “I said, ‘Lord, I need a heart and kidney. If you answer my prayer, I will be grateful. If the answer is no, I am still grateful.’” The following Sunday, Maurice was getting ready for church when the phone rang: a heart and kidney were waiting for him.
“I felt so excited and nervous,” he said. “The surgery went better than expected; they were able to do the heart and kidney transplant at the same time.” By June, Maurice was back to walking 2 miles 3-4 times a week, and a year later, he resumed volunteering at the local food pantry.
“Giving back is my passion; I get joy from being able to help somebody else,” he said. Now, he encourages everyone to join the organ and tissue donor registry. “It is important to sign up to be a donor … African Americans are the least of registered donors, and we have the greatest need for donated organs. One day, your family may be touched with this need.”
“If I could meet my donor family, I would thank them,” he said. “I have great love for them; my family thanks you and I thank you.”