Jacksonville man in want of two organ transplants talks about vital Nationwide Donor Day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Valentine’s Day is a day we show love, but it’s also National Donor Day.

A 65-year-old Jacksonville man in need of two organ transplants spoke to News4Jax on Sunday about the importance of National Donor Day.

“To raise awareness. There will be a check box on your driver’s license that allows you to indicate that you want to become a donor. They provide an opportunity for someone in need of organs to lead a normal life, ”said Chuck Vaughn.

News4Jax met Vaughn, better known as the balloonist, in 2019. He has a hot air balloon business and has spent most of his life flying over Jacksonville

Now Vaughn needs a different kind of elevator. In November 2019, he needed a kidney because he had stage 5 kidney failure. Vaughn said he had several people willing to donate after News4Jax’s first story, but has since seen another setback. Vaughn said his doctors told him he didn’t have enough gut to support the kidney transplant.


“As I said, someone has to die to do this. So that I can preserve the intestines, it’s called a multivesicular transplant because you are making more than one organ. I need gut, ”he said. “In the meantime, when they open me, they’ll put a kidney there too.”

Vaughn said he had had medical problems since he was 14. Ten years later, in October 1979, he was operated on for the first time.

“Halloween, I had my first operation. I had my first ostomy, ”he said.

Vaughn said he learned to live and fight to stay alive.

“It either controls you or you control it as much as you can,” he said. “When you sit down, you will be part of the furniture. You have to get up. “

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