NEW JERSEY (WTXF) - Some people who got a second chance at life thanks to organ transplants came together in Cherry Hill tonight. Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center held the celebration. Dozens of lives have been saved over the last several decades because of the donations.
"I call myself lucky because after my operation my first grandchild was born and I wanted him to know how lucky I was to meet him. All three of my grandchildren now call me lucky."
Neal Snyder feels right at home reunited with more than 100 patients like him who received organ transplants from Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center. It was decades ago when he got a new kidney and pancreas after diabetic complications developed.
"First it was my vision, then it was my heart. I had open heart surgery. The stress of that surgery then affected my kidney function," he explained.
He's part of this Cherry Hill celebration dinner hosted by Lordes honoring people who got transplants between 1974 and 1990.
Millville's Mayor Michael Santiago also became one of them after being on dialysis for five years before a second kidney transplant.
"When you come in a room here and you start to talk to people and you find out about their stories, it's like wow isn't it amazing that this happened to me but look at the other people that it's happened to," Mayor Santiago said.
Many here live because someone else could not. It's one more reason why Neal calls himself lucky.
"Every day I bless them and I'm grateful to them and try to live an impeccable life to justify the gift I got."