The Gift that Saved Annie's Life

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Annie Hollinshead, Recipient

The Gift that Saved Annie's Life

Posted January 30, 2013


annie-before-hawaii-trip-001Born on August 4, 1999 at Barnes Jewish Hospital, Annie Hollinshead was not expected to survive.  A condition called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) had prevented her tiny lungs from developing and every manner of medical intervention came up short.

In the midst of some very harrowing near death episodes in the NICU at St Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH), we were asked to meet with the transplant team to discuss an experimental double lung transplant as an option (the only one that remained) as Annie clung to life.

After agreeing to the transplant, we waited for The Gift that could save Annie’s life.  I’ll never forget where I was (watching the news) nor the time (10:14 p.m.) when the transplant pager started flashing and beeping on my hip!  The transplant coordinator on the other end said, “We have located a match for your daughter’s lungs, would you like to accept the donation?”  “YES” I blurted out as the Coordinator calmed me down and instructed us to pack our bags and get to the hospital just as quickly as possible.

After ten hours of surgery, the Transplant Surgeon emerged and proclaimed;  “It wasn’t easy but we did it!”  That selfless gift from a family we will never know gave us 7 joy-filled years with our Little Princess, ones we would never have known were it not for the tireless effort (and love) invested by MTS and SLCH into saving our daughter’s life.  MTS took little more than a glimmer of hope and gave us something enduring, The Gift of Life, for which we will be forever grateful.

Jim and Elly Hollinshead
Kirkwood, MO


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