November 19, 1999

Series: Transplant advocate Reg Green to join in anniversary events

Featured Image

Reg Green

Series: Transplant advocate Reg Green to join in anniversary events

Internationally known organ donation advocate Reg Green will be on hand to help the Vanderbilt Transplant Center celebrate its 10th anniversary early next month.

Green will tour the center's facilities, meet with patients, nurses and physicians and will give the keynote speech at the center's anniversary dinner on Dec. 1.

For the past five years, Green has worked tirelessly to promote the need worldwide for organ donation. On vacation in Italy with his family in 1994, Green's seven-year-old son, Nicholas, died two days after being shot in the head during a robbery attempt.

Despite the violent circumstances of their son's death, Reg Green and his wife, Maggie, volunteered to donate Nicholas' organs for transplant. The donation of the boy's heart, kidneys, corneas, liver and pancreas cells transformed the lives of seven Italians, and the Greens' courage inspired a nation.

At the time, organ donation rates in Italy were far lower than in other European countries. In the wake of the international publicity surrounding the Green's decision, organ donations in Italy more than doubled and awareness of the shortage of donors increased around the world.

Since their son's death, the Greens have become international leaders in the effort to raise awareness organ donation. They now live in California with their three other children. Reg Green wrote a book about his son's death and its global impact titled The Nicholas Effect: A Boy's Gift to the World.