Barbara Edmond listens to the beating heart of her late son, Reggie, in Coasie Parker. (Courtesy photo)

by Cathy Hart —

“You know too … that this was GOD’S plan from the beginning,” Barbara Edmond recently told The New Tri-State Defender, as she shared details of her journey as a donor family with the Mid-South Transplant Foundation (MSTF) during the Give Life Church Challenge celebration being held this month.

The Challenge began Nov.1. Faith communities are encouraged to ask members of their congregations to register as organ and tissue donors.

In April 2014, Edmond’s son, Reggie, was involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident. After a couple of days, doctors pronounced him brain dead. Edmond decided to give life by donating her son’s tissues and organs. The Mid-South Transplant Foundation family has been walking with her step by step.

Reggie’s donation has blessed and saved lives. Joy radiates through Edmond as she talked about her son’s recipients.

“I learned that five people lived because of him,” she said.

She has met Coasie Parker, who received his heart; Jerry, who received one of his kidneys, and Curt, who received his liver.

“I was 33 years old at that time and I found out Feb. 14, 2014 (Valentine Day) that I needed a heart,” Parker said. “My process lasted three months and we give all glory to GOD. … On April 9, I received the heart transplant and I’ve been going ever since.”

Parker’s voice amplifies her smile as she describes receiving a gift of Life from Reggie. “Now I tell folks too, it’s hard to keep up with Reggie.”

Keisha Oliver, community relations coordinator for Mid-South Transplant Foundation, said, “I don’t know about you, but seeing Ms. Edmond and Coasie together, knowing that Coasie now has Reggie’s heart made my heart full.”

The Give Life Church Challenge runs Nov. 30.

Religious leaders, donor families, transplant recipients and donation and transplantation professionals participate in services and programs to educate the public about the need for the lifesaving and healing gifts passed to others through transplant donations.

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