• 45°
franklin county times

Organ donors honored

By Staff
GONE FROM US n Ethel Meierbachtol, right, lost her son, Jeremy, in September 1999. Four people have a second chance at life after receiving his organs. Joining her is her daughter, Jessica Case, of Hattiesburg. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star.
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
March 18, 2001
Somewhere in Mississippi, the heart of Ethel Meierbachtol's son beats in the chest of another young man.
One day she hopes to meet the 16-year-old boy who received his heart. At last word, he was doing well and hoped to go back to school.
The boy is one of four people who was given a second chance at life though Jeremy's organ donations.
Meierbachtol remembered her son with others who have lost loved ones during a "Gift of Life" ceremony at the Lauderdale County Courthouse last week. The ceremony, sponsored by the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA), included the dedication of a courthouse plaque in remembrance of those who donated their organs and whose generosity is alive in the people they saved.
Meierbachtol said she became an organ donor advocate long before her son died.
Today, Meierbachtol struggles with a mixture of emotions sadness over the loss of her son and joy for those who can live because of him.
Meierbachtol learned Jeremy's liver had saved the life of a 42-year-old Florida man. The man, who is married and has children, had waited a painstaking two years for the new liver. The man would later write to her personally to thank her for the sacrifice.
Meierbachtol also learned a 36-year-old man from Mississippi received Jeremy's left kidney. He had been on dialysis for 3 1/2 years. Jeremy's right kidney and pancreas had been given to a 49-year-old woman in Florida who had a husband of 28 years and a daughter.
Since that time, Meierbachtol has learned the right kidney failed the woman, but she holds the hope of another transplant.
All she knows of the boy who received her son's heart is that he lives with his mother and stepfather and enjoys school and basketball.
Meierbachtol said she looks forward to the next recipient update, probably within the next two weeks.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

Franklin County

BTCPA auditions for final production of season take place March 3-4 

Franklin County

RCS holds annual Black History Month program 

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: American Legion Posts 64 and 120 – ‘Veterans Strengthening America’

Franklin County

RHS graduate crowned Miss Northwest Shoals

Franklin County

RHS graduate crowned Miss UNA

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: In memoriam – Monuments honor the fallen of Franklin

High School Sports

RHS senior chosen as Bryant-Jordan Region 8 Scholar winner

High School Sports

Russellville High School ladies soccer team members participate in annual Night to Shine

News

Russellville High School Scholars Bowl team qualifies for state tournament

News

Vina kindergarteners connect with lots of other classes

News

PCHS JAG student places in district conference

Features

Wedding Spotlight: Layne and Frank Edwards

Franklin County

RHS senior competes at state DYW competition

News

Extension, 4-H present free resume workshop

Franklin County

Franklin County has lots to love

High School Sports

Russellville High School honors alum Luther Tiggs with special night of basketball

News

BTCPA announces second production of season

News

RMS holds annual state assessment celebration

Franklin County

Red Bay welcomes new city attorney

Franklin County

Attempted traffic stop leads to high-speed vehicle pursuit, wreck 

Franklin County

Vehicle pursuit ends in wreck, arrest 

News

RFD, RHS collab promotes job readiness, community safety

Franklin County

Local students named to Mississippi State University’s fall 2023 President’s List

News

Russellville Elementary features among U.S. News & World Report best elementary schools

x