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December 30, 1994 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-12-30

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27 TEVET 5755 I DECEMBER 30, 1994

Stories Of
The Heart

No Amen Chorus

Task force studies Bible
club decision.


Two families, two sides of
L, organ donation.




lII or nearly three days, Rick and
Judy Brenner sat in the hos-
pital hoping for good news
about their 16-year-old
daughter after she was in-
jured in a car accident.
Joined by their rabbis and at times as
many as 40 friends and family members,
the Brenners prayed Dani would survive.
When Dani died, the Farmington Hills
couple decided to donate some of her or-
gans. Her heart went to a 15-year-old boy.
"This is what she would have wanted,"
her father said.
Today, another local family is seeking
a donor heart for their dying son.
Janice and Fred Morganroth of Franklin
sit in the hospital, waiting to hear if a donor
organ can be found in time to save Erik
Morganroth, a 25-year-old Troy resident
whose heart is failing.
On Dec. 10, Mr. Morganroth was hos-
pitalized after becoming short of breath.
Doctors believe a common flu virus at-
tacked his heart and caused him to con-
tract myocarditis, an inflammation of the
lining of the heart which weakens the
heart tissue. This is a rare occurrence.
Physicians at the University of Michigan
Medical Center placed him on an external
heart pump, a highly technical machine
that pumps Mr. Morganroth's blood. But
it is only a temporary measure. Mr.
Morganroth needs a new heart in the next
week if he is to survive.
Last Saturday, the same day Mr.
Morganroth was put on the heart pump,
a medical team from Duke University in
North Carolina flew to St. Joseph Mercy
Hospital in Ann Arbor to retrieve Dani's
Ms. Brenner, who weighed under 100
pounds and had type A blood, was not a
suitable donor for Mr. Morganroth.
Tom Beyersdorf, executive director of
Gift of Life, an organization that coordi-
nates organ transplants in Michigan, said
Mr. Morganroth needs a donor who weighs
at least 140 pounds and has a B or 0 blood

Erik Morganroth waits for a new heart.

type. Because he is on life support, Mr.
Morganroth is first on the list of trans-
plant recipients in Michigan. On average,
two hearts become available to potential
recipients in Michigan each week.
Hearts must be harvested from a donor
within a 500-mile radius as there is ap-
proximately a four-hour time span in
which the transplant must occur. Mr.
Beyersdorf said typically half the donor or-
gans fit Mr. Morganroth's criteria.
"From what I can re-
call, this is the first time
Dani Brenner's
death gave the
there has been a public
gift of life.
appeal in Michigan for an
organ donor," Mr.
Beyersdorf said.
Mr. Morganroth, who is heavily sedat-
ed to prevent him from moving and dis-
rupting his life support, knows what is
going on and has been involved in the fam-
ily's decision-making process, his mother
Since the Morganroths' press confer-
ence, held on Monday, Gift of Life has re-
ceived five to 10 times the normal rate of
inquiry calls.
When it became apparent that their
own daughter would not survive, the
Brenners placed a call to Gift of Life.
"The moment we realized she was clin-
ically dead, we instinctively said OK, what
can we donate?" Ms. Brenner said. "Some
good had to come out of this tragedy."


HEART page 8

Back On The Rack


Jack's Place makes a move
to the former Kosins.

A one-woman agency
at the Washtenaw JFS.

Page 28

Page 64

Contents on page 3


Canton Bible club seeking to bring
"knowledge of God and Jesus
Christ" to students has just had
its prayers answered.
The Jewish Community Council isn't
saying amen.
Last week, the Plymouth Canton
School Board announced it would per-
mit an afternoon Bible club to meet in
an elementary-school building, citing the
right of all religious groups to equal ac-
cess to public property.
Now a JCCouncil task force on school
prayer is considering what action — in-
cluding possibly a lawsuit — to take in
wake of the decision.
"There are a range of options the task
force will investigate, and one of those
options is a lawsuit," task force chairman
Lawrence Imerman said.
The task force was formed last month
after community members became trou-
bled by the increasing numbers of politi-
cians, including President Bill Clinton,
who have expressed interest in allowing
for a moment of silent prayer in public
"People are concerned," Mr. Imerman
The Council became involved in the
Plymouth issue earlier this month after
Wendy Sadler of Canton, the mother of
a kindergarten student, learned that a
Boys and Girls Bible Club wanted to
meet at Field Elementary School.


They are Jewish and they believe in the mission
of the Salvation Army. PHIL JACOBS EDITOR

Stoiyon page 38

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