Each April, Loyola University Medical Center holds a candle-lighting ceremony to pay tribute to organ donors, and to support transplant patients.
This year, the ceremony, held April 21, gave special recognition to a physician who is both a living organ donor and a transplant patient: Susan Hou, MD.
“Some people know they just have to do it, and I was one of them,” Dr. Hou said. “If you believe in the brotherhood of man, there are no unrelated donors.”
Then, 12 years to the day after she donated a kidney, Dr. Hou received a donated lung to treat a life-threatening pulmonary disease.
Now that Dr. Hou has her health back, she has resumed working with a free clinic in Bolivia that she co-founded. The clinic serves more than 3,000 patients a year.
“I worry whether the lung should have gone to someone younger,” said Dr. Hou, who was 68 at the time of the transplant. “So I feel a great pressure to make the most of the extra years I have been given.”