*Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Anastasi’s last name. We regret the error, which has been fixed.
PLAINWELL, Mich. (WOOD) — An Allegan County man credits his life to the five organs he received from a single donor through a rare transplant procedure.
Dominick , a 40-year-old from Plainwell, had a multivisceral transplant in August of 2020.
April is National Donate Life Month and Anastasi wants others to consider giving the gift of life. He is grateful for his donor every day.
“Her name was Lindsey and she was 29,” Anastasi said.
Anastasi was diagnosed with Pancreatitis in 2016 after having complications during a procedure on his intestines.
“I woke up in just the worst pain I had ever felt in my lifetime and I knew instantly something wasn’t right,” Anastasi said.
He saw a series of doctors at multiple hospitals before being sent to Indiana University in Indianapolis, the closest hospital that could perform the procedure to replace five of his organs. He was put on the organ waiting list in July of 2020 and received the donations from his donor a month later.
“It’s a simultaneous transplant where they do your liver, your pancreas, the stomach, and then the small and large intestines,” Anastasi said.
He has been in touch with his donor’s mother, who said Lindsey saved five lives.
“When I did communicate with her family. I had expressed to them how thankful and how grateful I am for their daughter’s gift,” Anastasi said. “I wouldn’t be here without her.”
Anastasi said while he has had complications to overcome, the transplant has given him a new life.
“I got my health back. I’ve been able to do the things that I couldn’t do with my children prior to surgery. My sons like to go out and throw the ball around. They like to play basketball and I just didn’t have the strength to do these things,” Anastasi said.
He hopes others decide to become organ donors knowing the impact the decision can have.
“There’s so many people that die every day waiting for an organ transplant. I would recommend to anybody: Sign up please, become an organ donor because it makes a difference,” Anastasi said.
About 2,500 people in Michigan are waiting for an organ that would be life-saving, according to Gift of Life. In 2021, surgeons performed 1,089 organ transplants in Michigan, and globally only about 200 multivisceral transplants are performed each year.
To learn how to donate, visit the Gift of Life Michigan website.