Thanks to donor, well known Kansas woman given second chance at life
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - What do you say to someone who saved your life? Diana Schunn thinks about that all the time, although she’ll never get the chance.
“I would want to make them proud. I want them do know this gift is not taken for granted. It’s a blessing to have a second chance. They’ve given me life,” Schunn said.
If her name sounds familiar, it’s because you may have seen in her in the news over the years. Schunn has spent much of her life protecting abused children as a forensic nurse and now director of the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County. This month she celebrates 15 years at the CAC.
But last year her life came to a halt with news she wasn’t prepared to hear. After years of battling a heart condition called Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy or (ARVD/C), things took a turn last summer.
“After that I was admitted to the CCU the doctor came up and said, ‘has anyone had the conversation with you about a heart transplant?’ she recalled. And I was like, ‘no.’”
Schunn spent more than a month in Kansas City on a heart pump. Eventually the news she and her family had waited for came. The match was perfect. Diana said she thinks about the donor and their family all the time.
“They are grieving, and you are asking if they want to donae. I don’t take that lightly,” Schunn said as she fought back tears.”I just think about the number of people they’ve helped. It’s overwhelming.”
She’s now back at work, leading an organization that helps thousands of abused children every year. Her hope is to one day meet the family of her donor. But for now, she wants to share her story to hopefully inspire others to have conversations about becoming a donor.
“Even in my small world there’s a bigger impact. I am so grateful for that opportunity,” she said.
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