Lifelink Foundation

| March 4, 2010 | 2 Comments

LifeLink – Transplantation At Its Best

The LifeLink – Tampa General relationship still confuses me a bit.  Frankly when I arrived in Tampa, I was pretty focused on being admitted to the program.  I had heard good things and did not care who was in charge.  I had heard about Dr. Hoffman, the cardiologist, and Dr. Sheffield, the surgeon.  After two years of waiting in New York, it was time for a change.

To this date. I have not entered the LifeLink main building, although I have met a few of the Foundation’s employees.  Once Hoffman and Sheffield did their magic, I really wanted to know more.

As I see it, LifeLink provides the services that bring the organ and the patient together.  In Tampa, LifeLink provides transplant operations at Tampa General Hospital, but there is much behind-the-scenes activity that takes place in the LifeLink headquarters.

According to their website, the core of LifeLink is the LifeLink Foundation, which is composed of six divisions.  The LifeLink HealthCare Institute is the transplant wing.  Both entities are non-profit community service organizations.  The LifeLink commitment is to, “work with all patients referred to us in consultation, regardless of their ability to pay, and assist them whenever possible in securing the necessary funding for their care and support through our social services department.”

The LifeLink Foundation focuses on the “recovery of life-saving and life-enhancing organs and tissue for transplantation therapy.”  The Foundation works diligently to increase donor awareness and increase the availability of organs as well as “improve the clinical outcomes.”  The LifeLink foundation works closely with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).

The LifeLink HealthCare institute provides “multi-specialty medical care with a specific emphasis on life-saving and life-enhancing organ transplantation therapy.” 

To me, this means the Foundation is busy researching, locating and procuring the organs while the Institute takes care of the actual wait-list, transplant patient care.  The HealthCare Institute is one of six divisions.

 The Institute commenced a successful kidney transplant program before progressing into liver, heart, lung and pancreas transplantation.  All the talented physicians associated with these procedures are employees of LifeLink. 

LifeLink works closely with Tampa General, the University of South Florida (USF) College of Medicine and All Children’s Hospital.  In my case, I have had the good fortune to be treated by many USF nursing staff and surgeons.  However, my cardiologist, Dr. Hoffman has been my guiding light and has taught me much about the discipline of waiting and recovery.

From the minute I met Dr. Sheffield, I knew everything was going to be fine.  The man inspires confidence.  My orientation was quite different than in New York, but it was personal, comfortable and courteous.  LifeLink practitioners manage to maintain their professionalism, yet relate to the patient.

In a later article, I will describe all the team members that have contributed to my pre and post-op care.  Their combined efforts inspired me to become a better patient than I thought was possible.

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2 Comments on "Lifelink Foundation"

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  1. Samantha Tuttlebee says:

    I can’t thank you enough for making this site! I’m 33 year old beautiful woman that had the same thing happen and I’m currently on the wait list in NYC at level 1b. After complaining of feeling very ill for 4 years I was finally told on April 30 2010 that I have severe heart failure. The cause of this failure is TGA corrected by a mustard procedure with a live filled of pacemakers, caths, open hearts, and many more dramatic surgeries.

    Although I had not been well for the past 10 years the doctors continued to tell me that through out all my surgeries i was lucky because I did not have severe long lasting heart failure.
    After stay with the same team for 10 years I finally knew I had to get a second opinion and after 15 minutes in the cath lab they were getting such high pressures they didn’t need to look any further…i was in CHF and I was told they could make me more comfortable by upingmy corgec cr and both my regular lasix and loop lasix.
    I too lost 10 pounds after the first few days.

    The reason I would like you to know my story is because my transplant team has told me that I need to multi list asap because they can’t remember the last time the transplanted a 1b level person. In NYC it’s always level 1a that gets the only transplants.

    I’m a single mother or a wonderful 12 year old boy and I’m not scared of dying …I’m scared of Aidan watching me wilt away until I’m on a bi-pass machine in 18months just so I can stay in my local area.
    Plus from what I read your overall outcome is not as good if you got the transplant on bi-pass instead of at level 1b.

    SO this is how I found your wonderful site because for the past week I have spent every minute my son is asleep or distracted googling “shortest wait time for heart transplant” and every other combo to do with muti listing and transplant and to my surprise your site is the only one that is helpful.

    However I’m wondering if you think I should apply to Tampa or maybe you have more info that could help?

    I also wanted to let you know that I was approached by National Geographic and asked if they could film my story as well as interview me for there end of year one hour special called ” ‘Replaceable You’ and it’s about the fact getting a heart transplant is NOT a cure it’s trading one problem for another problem and the only cure is to grow your own heart or organ with your own stem cells so you will never reject your replaced organ since it’s your own cells and tissue.

    Please write back and send any info you think would be helpful because un like you I can NOT read the UNOS site and I’m throughly confused.

    Many thanks for taking the time to create this amazing site!

    Wishing you well,

  2. Wanda Tenaglia says:

    My granddaughter was born Sept 16th 2014. She co reacted a virus in the womb, which left her with an enlarged heart and has been put on the transplant list. I was wondering if she has a smaller chance being she is so small. A new born. What do you think???
    THANK YOU for any comment you might have.
    Wanda Tenaglia

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