Bobby Height, Sr. and his wife, Brenda, serve as volunteers with LifeShare Of The Carolinas and Donate Life North Carolina DMV Ambassadors. Neither person ever expected to become involved in organ donation and transplantation until their world changed in 2003.
I am Bobby Height, Sr. born in 1944. I have always been a healthy, athletic person. In high school and college, I played and excelled in basketball and baseball. After college, I was drafted by the New York Yankees to play outfield in baseball. My career ended after a knee injury. I then became a high school teacher of Health/Physical Education and also coached high school basketball, baseball and football. Still the picture of good health, I played various levels of slow-pitch softball and was inducted into the ASA Softball Hall of Fame in 1993.
Other than knee and hip surgeries, I was considered a healthy person. One morning in 2003, I became dizzy and I passed out. The medics took me to the hospital where I was later diagnosed with cardiomyophathy, which is simply an unhealthy heart. For five years, I was treated by various doctors for acute asthma and slept with a machine for treating sleep apnea. Suddenly, in 2007, I became extremely fatigued and suffered from shortness of breath. Little did I know that my body was killing me from the inside out. Within a month, my "killer" was diagnosed as Amyloidosis, a very rare, fatal and little known disease caused by insoluble deposits of amyloid protein fibrils that had attacked my heart. I needed a heart transplant.
While I waited on God's time for a new heart, I wore a LifeVest Debrillator and was connected to a pump which delivered medicine intravenously. I was getting weaker and weaker every day. During this time, there were approximately 2,000 candidates nationwide waiting for a heart!
On October 22, 2007, I received "the call" that a heart was available and was a match for me. I am know living a normal, healthy life. I no longer have asthma and sleep apnea. I am alive today because someone said, "YES" to the generous gift of donating life so that I might have a second chance in fulfilling my life's purpose. I believe that things happen for a reason and whether or not you are able to find the answer right away, one day you realize that you have. Today, I am making a difference in people's lives. Because of me and my story, people are making the choice to become organ donors.
Over 3,500 people are waiting for transplants in North Carolina. My greatest wish is that you too will 'give the gift of life' by joining the donor registry at DonateLifeNC.org or at the DMV. You can save eight lives through organ donation and enhance more than 50 lives through tissue donation. You have the power to DONATE LIFE....PASS IT ON!
Bobby and Brenda Height have participated in over 80 community event in the Charlotte-Metro region since 2008. Both are also recipients of LifeShare Of The Carolinas Chrysalis Award in 2010 for being instrumental in helping LifeShare achieve its mission as they celebrated forty years of providing organ, eye and tissue recovery services.