After Receiving A Double Lung Transplant, Jorge Bacardi – Heir To The Bacardi Fortune – Paid That Miracle Forward In A Major Way

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Jorge Bacardi was born right into a life most of would think about profitable the luck lottery. He was born into the household that has been making rum for over 100 years. As an grownup he would inherit lots of of thousands and thousands of {dollars}.

Sadly it wasn’t all luck for Jorge Bacardi. When Jorge was a baby he was identified with cystic fibrosis. Medical doctors predicted he wouldn’t stay previous the age of 12. He did. Subsequent medical doctors instructed him he would not stay to be 40. He proved them fallacious on that prediction as nicely. In truth, Jorge turned out to not have cystic fibrosis in any respect. In the late Nineties Jorge was lastly correctly identified with a distinct life-threatening lung illness. The illness Jorge really suffered from was known as major ciliary dyskinesia. Main ciliary dyskinesiaa is illness through which the cilia that transfer mucus by way of the airways are irregular, inflicting the mucus to build up and trigger infections and blockages. There is no such thing as a treatment.

The solely factor that would save Jorge’s life was a double lung transplant. By the point he was in his early 60s, Jorge had been on the transplant ready record for years, was close to demise, and was on oxygen 24/7 simply to have the ability to draw a correct breath. He wanted a miracle to outlive for much longer. That miracle got here from hundreds of miles away due to a beneficiant stranger who suffered an unlucky destiny.

Christopher Gregory

Christopher Gregory was a sophomore at Loyola College in New Orleans in 2008 when he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. His dad and mom and two older brothers rushed to New Orleans to be by his aspect. The medical doctors instructed them Christopher had suffered a mind aneurysm and he was not prone to survive. He handed away on March 27, 2008 on the age of 19.

Because it turned out, Christopher had registered as an organ donor when he bought his driver’s license three years prior. His corneas went to 2 individuals and his organs went to 5 individuals. Jorge Bacardi was a kind of 5 individuals. He obtained Christopher’s lungs.

When Jorge obtained phrase {that a} lung transplant was out there he was within the Bahamas. He hopped on a jet and made it to the hospital in Jacksonville, Florida in a report 50 minutes.

Jorge was 64-years-previous on the time of the surgical procedure. The double lung transplant surgical procedure lasted seven hours.

Inside 24 hours put up-surgical procedure, he was not solely respiratory on his personal however respiratory higher than he ever had in his life. Jorge was launched from the hospital days later and instantly started pondering of the way to honor the present he was given. Although for now he didn’t know Christopher’s true identification.

Gabriel Home

For the primary 12 months after his surgical procedure, Jorge didn’t know the identification of his donor. He referred to his donor as “Gabriel” – after the archangel.

A 12 months later he lastly discovered of Christoper’s identification and destiny. Jorge quickly flew to Baltimore to fulfill with Christopher’s dad and mom and siblings. Jorge needed to do one thing to offer again for the blessing he had obtained. The outcome from this assembly was an concept to open a facility the place sufferers and households may stay collectively whereas somebody was ready for an operation on the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, the identical hospital the place his surgical procedure was carried out.

Jorge and his spouse Leslie donated $13.5 million to open what turned the Gabriel Home of Care on the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.

Cliff Hawkins/Getty Pictures

In the present day the Gabriel Home of Care supplies inexpensive lodging to grownup transplant and most cancers sufferers and their caregivers for sufferers on the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, the UF Well being Proton Institute, the Ackerman Most cancers Heart, and different close by medical amenities. Gabriel Home supplies a protected area with remedy applications to cut back stress and enhance high quality of life.

Due to Christopher Gregory’s resolution to be an organ donor, Jorge Bacardi lived for an additional 12 years with wholesome lungs for the primary time in his life. He was capable of play tennis and go fishing. He saved in contact with the Gregory household.

He additionally continued donating to the Mayo Clinic.

In 2014 Jorge and Leslie made one other substantial donation to ascertain the Jorge and Leslie Bacardi Fund in Regenerative Drugs. They made the present in honor of Cesar A. Keller, M.D., one of many medical doctors concerned in his care earlier than the lung transplant arrived.

Jorge Bacardi handed away on September 23, 2020, at his dwelling within the Bahamas.

Christopher Gregory’s father Eric wrote a guide about his son and the way his life impacted Jorge Bacardi. That guide “All my Tomorrows: A Story of Tragedy, Transplant, and Hope” has been tailored by Netflix into the 2021 movie “2 Hearts.”


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