Giving Life

JIM McELROY is living proof that organ donation is a worthwhile sacrifice.

The Mentor, Ohio man has a new lease on life thanks to a heart transplant. The 60-year-old McElroy experienced cardiac issues way back in his early 30s.

A short time ago, his health began to deteriorate quickly. He was just days away from being hooked up to a mechanical heart. His gloomy future took on a much brighter look when the Cleveland Clinic organ donor program notified him a match was found.

His saga is another instance in which something positive can come out tragedy.

McElroy’s new heart came from Amanda Rosepapa. The Bellaire native and former St. John Central pitching great was the victim of a cruel twist of fate.

Rosepapa was 21 years of age, full of life and close to gaining her nursing degree. Unfortunately, the likable Rosepapa was tragically killed in an accident in Akron in June of 2011. She was leaving a party with some friends when a car went out of control and struck her and several others, including police officers. Amanda was the lone fatality.

Rosepapa had everything to live for, but not fortunate to have that opportunity.

Amanda, however, did not die in vain. Fortunately for McElroy, Amanda had the foresight, vision and compassion to be an organ donor.

It is a move we encourage more people to do. More than 100,000 US residents are on the waiting list for organ transplants. Unfortunately, 6,500 die each year awaiting that transplant.

Surprisingly, 6,000 transplants are conducted each year from living donors.

Amanda Rosepapa’s life was all too short. But her death has spawned new life. We hope more people follow her selfless lead.