For many of our transplant patients, it just takes one call to completely change everything — the call that means the organ they need for a new life is here.
Meet Erika, Makinley, and Ralph — real people with powerful stories of hope and survival — and watch their life-changing transplant journeys.
Erika Carter-Rolle | New Heart
Dr. Erika Carter-Rolle, an assistant principal, has a warrior spirit — and a grateful heart. After being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, she suffered a stroke and her condition only worsened. Determined to win her battle, she turned to the Miami Transplant Institute (MTI), one of the largest and most comprehensive transplant centers in the nation. With more than 45 years of experience, MTI’s reputation and history gave her the assurance that she would receive a heart. On the day she got the call, she couldn’t believe her wait was over. Thanks to her donor, her surgeon, and the caring staff, victory was hers at last.
Makinley Edwards | New Liver
Just months after welcoming their baby girl into the world, Nicole and Michael Edwards received a devastating prognosis. Makinley was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare form of liver cancer. When other attempts to remove the cancer failed, a liver transplant became her only hope for survival. Makinley’s parents put their faith into the Miami Transplant Institute, a world-renowned program and affiliation between Jackson Health System and UHealth – University of Miami Health System. When they got the call, Nicole was so overjoyed that she spilled her drink! Hours later, Makinley underwent a successful surgery — and a little miracle was born anew.
Ralph Zayas Jr. | New Lungs
Military veteran Ralph Zayas Jr. was exploring his passion for photography when diagnosed with a chronic lung disease. Ralph was placed on the national organ waiting list for new lungs. He waited for more than a year before turning to the Miami Transplant Institute (MTI), the only center in South Florida to perform every type of organ transplant. Everything changed with an early morning call, awakening him to a new passion for life. After a successful double-lung transplant at MTI, Ralph is now inspired to capture every moment, always through a lens of gratitude.