Transplant Recipient Meets Donor’s Family
After a childhood of hospitalization in Dallas, Myka Glennie's family had made arrangements with a funeral home and picked a cemetery plot. After nine months of hospice care, they knew Myka was going to die. Cystic fibrosis and further lung complications had taken their toll. Turns out, it wasn't her time.
Today, Myka, 18, lives in her hometown of Broken Arrow, OK, after receiving a double lung transplant at St. Louis Children’s Hospital two years ago. Myka was referred to the hospital by the family’s local doctor after an upswing in her condition following surgery.
In June, she personally met the family of LaMetra Walker, the organ donor.
LaMetra was killed in a hit-and-run car crash at age 17 in her hometown of Memphis, TN. Well before her death, she had informed her mother that she wanted to be an organ donor. After the crash, her lungs went to Myka.
After corresponding from afar for nearly two years, the families of the donor and recipient finally got to meet in person. Such meetings are very rare and occur only when the recipient and donor families both express and interest in meeting.
LaMetra’s parents, Monica and Donald Walker, and other family members visited St. Louis Children’s Hospital to meet the Glennies and accompany Myka during her follow-up appointments. Laloma Harris, LaMetra’s grandmother, smiled, cried and trembled as she embraced and admired Myka.
“I feel nothing but love and more love,” Harris said. “Love for what LaMetra did for others. It shows the importance of organ donation. I was excited to meet Myka and see a portion of LaMetra alive.”
All members of both families hugged, cried, laughed and shared in their love for LaMetra and Myka. Pam Glennie, Myka’s mother, credits LaMetra, her family and the hospital for the miracle of Myka.
“I was stressed out and freaked out because my child was dying,” she recalls. “I was used to having to fight doctors, nurses and hospitals to get proper care for my daughter. Dr. (Stuart) Sweet and everyone here was fantastic and so patient with me. They won me over.”
Each new day is special for Myka, but this one stand out. “I’m thankful that someone else thought of others in donating her organs,” she says.