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Recipient Stories

One Recipient’s Gratitude Shines Bright in the Sky

When Andy Golembiewski was told he would need a heart transplant, he realized his life-saving gift would come from a deceased donor. The call for his transplant came on September 9, 2013, and Andy knew he wanted to do something special to honor his hero, his donor and his or her family.

“I couldn’t believe I was so blessed to get my gift of a new heart in time,” Andy said. “I wanted to come up with a unique way to forever celebrate my donor. I never envisioned what our family friend Terri had in mind.”

As Andy was at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center getting his transplant, Terri researched a way to commemorate his gift of life. She looked way up; all the way to the sky. Terri decided to purchase a star and dedicate it to Andy’s donor family as a permanent token of their gratitude.

“Dad has received many precious gifts from family, friends and strangers around the world before, during, and after receiving his new heart. We just had to share this treasured gift that sure put a tear and a twinkle in our eye,” Andy’s daughter Karen said. “We were honored that Terri named the star Star Light, Star Bright – Andy’s Blessed Donor Star.”

Andy gathers with Karen, Terri and the rest of his proud Buckeye family.

Andy gathers with wife Dee and the rest of his grateful Buckeye family.

The Star Dedication Certificate includes the following message:

“The star with the coordinates RA: 9h0m38.4s DEC: 41degrees46m58.0s
is dedicated to Andy’s Blessed Donor
In honor of a donor who selflessly gave life through organ donation.
With gratitude to the transplant team who coordinated the effort.
With thanks to a surgeon who recognized that his talent is a gift from God.
For Dee, who believes “in sickness and in health” and keeps that vow.
And for Andy, whose bravery and spirit and trust in God is beyond measure.”

While not endorsed by Lifeline of Ohio, we were touched by this unique way to honor a donor’s gift.

Star certificate


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