Transplant Brothers: Friends Have the Same Donor

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Two longtime family friends became “transplant brothers” from the same donor. Fred Nelis (age 60) received a new heart and Gordon Veldman (age 67) received new lungs. Both were transplanted on the same day, at the same time, and from the same donor.

Veldman said he longs to tell the family “thank you.” “Because someone said ‘yes’, I’ve got a future. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

Dr. Michael Dickinson, the medical director of Spectrum’s heart and lung transplant program, said he thinks the simultaneous friend-transplant is a first for the program.

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