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Kidney recipient meets donor's family, thanks them for second chance at lifeSubmitted: 08/10/2014

Karolina Buczek
Reporter/Anchor
kbuczek@wjfw.com


MERRILL - Organ donors give many people a second chance at life. A Merrill teen saved many lives after he died in a car accident in 2009.

Jordan Buehler's organs were given to people who were on the organ waiting list for a long time. Matthew Meyer is one of them.

"I was near death, two steps from death's doorway," said Matt Meyer. "Now, I have a brand new life."

Meyer will never forget the amazing gift Buehler gave him: the gift of life.

"I was born with only one kidney and it was golf ball sized. The doctors always knew it was going to fail. They just didn't know when," explained Meyer. "Then, I hit puberty and started growing like crazy. I grew like five inches. Eventually, my kidney just couldn't keep up anymore so I started kidney failure."

Matt's family members tried to give him one of their kidneys. But, doctors couldn't find a good match.

"I rejected my entire family for a new kidney," said Meyer.

Then, he started getting very sick.

"Dialysis stopped working for me. I started retaining all the water. I was carrying around 40 extra pounds of water weight," explained Meyer.

Matt was put on the organ waiting list in June 2009.

It was up to a stranger to save his life. Jordan Buehler did just that.

Jordan died in a car accident in November of 2009. His parents donated his organs after they found his organ donor sticker on his driver's license.

"Parts of him can live on and he can do good for other people, whether he knows it or not," explained Jordan's parents, Bryan and Joleen Buehler.

Doctors decided to give Jordan's kidney to Matt.

"I got a call at 11:45 at night on the 25th of November saying they had a kidney in Madison, Wisconsin. Within 15 minutes, we were on the road, driving up," said Meyer.

The moment was bittersweet for the Meyer family.

"[I thought] oh my gosh, he's finally going to get better. Oh my gosh, something happened to somebody. They told us there was an auto accident in Northern Wisconsin," explained Matt's parents, Karen and Jim Meyer.

In the operating room, doctors were hopeful that Jordan's kidney would save Matt's life.

"They told me the kidney started working right then and there. Even before they sewed me back up," said Meyer.

Matt quickly got better, but he wanted to know more about the person who saved his life.

"I was very curious. I wanted to see who it was and what he was like. But I couldn't contact the family because I thought it was too soon," said Meyer.

Five years later, Matt reached out to the Buehler family.

"It's my five-year anniversary and I wanted to meet the family. I wanted to see who brought me new life," said Meyer.

In between tears and smiles, Matt showed the Buehler family the tattoo he got in Jordan's memory.

"He's shocked us with his tattoo on his arm. It was very nice for him to do that. It shows us how appreciative he is for a second chance at life," explained Jordan's father, Bryan.

The Meyer family got the chance to show how grateful they are for Jordan's gift.

"Jordan will always be a part of our family. In March, we wish him happy birthday and we thank him every thanksgiving and pray for the family," said Matt's parents.

The families will forever share a special bond.

To become an organ donor, all you have to do is select the donor option when you apply for a license or ID card. You can also apply online. The link is attached below.

Related Weblinks:
Organ Donor Sign Up

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 IN OTHER NEWS

WAUSAU - During a national push to prescribe fewer painkillers, a new Wisconsin proposal appeared that it would let chiropractors prescribe prescription drugsâ€"including painkillers.

After speaking with one of the bill's authors, that notion is not at all true. 

John Murray, the executive director of the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association, which supports the bill, said it was never the bill's intention to include narcotics, or any drugs not related to neuro-muscular skeletal healing. The bill is in its early stages, having had a co-sponsor hearing on Tuesday, and future drafts of the bill will not have that broad language. 

"It is the position of the WCA that going forward that was never the intention and that's not the intention going forward to have opioids and highly addictive schedules to be part of this," Murray said. 

What the bill is meant for, he said, is to allow chiropractorsâ€"with 60 credit hours of additional education and hours of clinical trainingâ€"to be able to prescribe non-narcotic pain medication, such as muscle relaxants or steroids. This they could do instead of referring their patients out to a medical doctor for such prescriptions, as all chiropractors do now. He said this would make it more convenient for the patient and better that they see the same doctor for a medication instead of two. 

"It's not that we think referring out to other providers is a bad thing," Murray said. "But there are situations in which a patient comes in and has something that a chiropractor with proper training could treat in the short term with some pharmaceutical intervention."

Not all chiropractors agree with this bill despite its clarifications. 

Dr. Scott Bautch, D.C., of Bautch Chiropractic in Wausau, wants to stay true to being "the non-drug option" to health care. 

He would rather continue referring his patients out to medical doctors.  He presented on behalf of the Chiropractic Society of Wisconsin, which does not support the bill, at the bill's hearing in Madison on Tuesday. 

"I'm going to counsel people on what they eat, I'm going to counsel people on how they move, I'm going to counsel people on what they think," Bautch said. "But if we need to have help with something your body can't heal, I'll refer you out. In my 33 years plus of practice, I've not had a problem. And if I've had to send a patient out because the pain was so unretractable, it's not been a difficult situation at all. If I call them that day, I've had patients that we call, and they get them in in an hour."

Murray says it's up to each chiropractor in the state to decide how they want to practice.

"We have great respect for chiropractors who want to work that way," Murray said. "But there are chiropractors in the state who want to have those extra clinical tools and practice that way. It's about freedom of practice."

The bill still has a few legislative steps before, and if, it becomes law.


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