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Retired firefighter marks first anniversary with his friend’s kidney April 19, 2017

An organ recipient is celebrating the anniversary of the kidney transplant that saved his life! Jay Williams, a retired San Antonio firefighter, spoke of the generosity of his family friend who donated a kidney, giving him the gift of life.

“Don’t be scared to be an organ donor and save a life,” said Williams. “It saved mine.”

Williams joins CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Medical Center (CSRH –MC) and the CHRISTUS Transplant Institute (CTI) in celebrating Donate Life Month by asking San Antonio residents to register as organ donors. At today’s Donate Life event, physicians, nurses, patients, and Associates joined Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, Gencure, and the San Antonio Eye Bank in sharing the benefits organ donations create for those awaiting transplants in our community.

Williams is one of more than 670 individuals who has received a kidney transplant at CTI since its inception in 1999. CHRISTUS Transplant Institute serves patients in San Antonio and throughout South Texas, with outreach clinics in Edinburg, Laredo, and El Paso.

“It’s the most important gift you will ever give,” said Dr. Robert Esterl, Surgical Director, CTI. “Registering to become an organ donor is the first step in saving someone’s life.”

Currently, 54 percent of U.S. adults are registered organ, eye, and tissue donors, and 47 percent in Texas. Yet the number of people in need of transplants continues to outpace the number of organs donated.

Today, Associates, doctors, and Donate Life representatives placed pinwheels in front of the Hospital to highlight how registering to donate can help save lives.

“Pinwheels are also symbolic of transformation, turning obstacles into opportunities,” said Clarissa Thompson with the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance. “The image of the pinwheel reminds us that we all have the potential power to save and heal lives. This April, we encourage you to watch the pinwheels transform the breeze into colorful motion, think of the lives touched by donation and transplantation and register to be a donor.”

“Transplants and organ donor registration go hand in hand when it comes to extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ,” said Dr. Ian Thompson, Jr., President, CSRH – MC . “And we humbly ask the community around us to share in this endeavor by considering becoming an organ donor.”

If you’d like more information about the CHRISTUS Transplant Institute, visit Individuals who are considering organ, eye, and tissue donation can do so through the website,