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Former NHL Pittsburgh Penguin, Lyle Odelein, Delivers Keynote Address at Allegheny General Hospital for National Donate Life Month

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Pittsburgh, Pa – Lyle Odelein, former NHL Pittsburgh Penguin player, will deliver the keynote address at Allegheny General Hospital’s Rose Garden ceremony this Tuesday, April 30 at 1 p.m. The event will round out National Donate Life Month for Allegheny Health Network, concluding a month-long initiative aimed at raising awareness of organ donation and paying tribute to those who have given the gift of life.

LYLE ODELEIN’S STORY:
Odelein will close out the ceremony on Tuesday as the keynote speaker sharing his transplant journey to those in attendance. Retired from the Pittsburgh Penguins after 20 years in the NHL, Odelein now resides in Fox Chapel and often spends his time traveling, spending time with friends and playing golf. While playing golf during a trip to Arizona last year, he was pricked with a ‘jumping cactus,’ which later caused a blood infection slipping him into a month-long coma at AGH.

Not successfully responding to antibiotics, the blood infection began to aggressively attack his heart, kidneys and liver. His medical team at AGH, Dr. Ngoc Thai and Dr. Stephen Bailey, performed a simultaneous triple transplant of the aortic valve, heart and kidney, spanning 24-hours. It was the first of its kind ever done in Western Pennsylvania and he had a five percent chance of survival.

Extremely grateful to his organ donor and his doctors, Odelein is in good health and hopes to return to the golf course soon.

AHN DONOR FAMILIES AND TRANSPLANT PATIENT SPEAKERS:

  • The Soff Family, AGH donor family
  • David Pringle, awaiting a heart transplant
  • Victor Wilson, AGH heart recipient
  • Lyle Odelein, AGH multi-transplant recipient

AHN LEADERSHIP:

  • Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, AGH president
  • Marge DiCuccio, chief nursing officer, AGH
  • Alyssa McQuillan, donor family support coordinator, CORE
  • Dr. Manreet Kanwar, transplant cardiologist, AGH
  • Dr. Bhavna Chopra, nephrologist, AGH

FEATURING:

Closing song will be performed by the school choir of Northside’s Allegheny Traditional Elementary Academy

WHERE:
Allegheny General Hospital
320 East North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

WHY:
Across the country, more than 110,000 men, women and children await lifesaving organ transplant, and another person is added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list every ten minutes. In Pennsylvania alone, more than 8,000 people are awaiting a lifesaving organ and thousands await tissue donation. National Donate Life month is a designated time of year to increase awareness of this need, encourage all to become registered organ donors and pay tribute to those who have given the gift of life.