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How an organ donation from a 25-year-old man gave Dan Nickloy as second-chance ‘miracle’ at life he’ll never forget

More than 115,000 men, women, and children sit on the transplant list, waiting for a miracle.

On average, 22 people die each day because the organs they need are not donated in time.  

Over the years, Diane Nickloy has cared for a number of those patients in her role as an Intensive Care Unit Nurse and Unit Coordinator at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. But, it was almost four years ago, roles were reversed when Diane learned her husband, Dan was in desperate need.

“My husband got sick very quickly,” remembers Diane, “Our daughter was getting married in May of that year and decided we needed to get healthy so that we’d look good in our tux and our dress. Dan hadn’t been to the doctors in 15 years, so he said, ‘I’m going to make an appointment and go,’ and he did. While he wasn’t feeling sick or anything, the doctor discovered an atrial flutter or abnormal heart rhythm. From there, the doctor decided to do lab work as a precaution. When the labs came back days later, it showed Dan had an abnormal liver function.”

Dan, who was just 61 at the time, went from feeling a little tired to dealing with a major health crisis.

“Once I had my diagnosis, my disease progressed rapidly,” remembers Dan. “I learned very early that transplant was the only cure. My first thought was I was going to die early and I wasn’t ready. I had a lot to do in life and I was going to miss out,” he said.

That May, Dan was able to walk his only daughter down the aisle at her wedding, but soon after he was admitted to the hospital.

“I was getting sicker. I didn’t think I was ever coming home, and prepared to say my goodbyes,” he remembers. “Then, one night the doctor came in, put his hand on my shoulder and said, ‘Mr. Nickloy, we have a liver. Are you ready to go?’”

Dan says that today, July 17, 2014, marks a miracle and the second chapter in his life.  

The Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) says that’s what it’s all about.

“Organ donation means lives saved!” explains Valerie Schneider, Media Relations and Communications Manager for WRTC, “For every organ donor, there’s the potential to save eight lives. For those waiting on the transplant list, there’s nothing more meaningful than the gift of life.”

In the DC metropolitan area, with thousands of people are on the transplant list, only about 67% of the adult population are registered as donors. One reason could be the myth that donors won’t receive the same level of care should they be injured or come to the hospital.

“When someone passes, they are evaluated by a highly skilled team to determine their donation capability. Nobody is ruled out for donation because of age, race, or social status; the medical evaluation determines the donation potential,” says Schneider.

The Nickloy family doesn’t know much about the person whose gift made Dan’s life possible, only that he was 25-years-old and killed in an automobile accident. While Dan has asked to meet the donor’s family, they haven’t taken him up on his request.

He just wants them to know how grateful he really is.

“I feel I was part of a miracle,” he says. “My only regret is I never got to meet the family who made the selfless act to donate their loved one’s organ in their time of grief, so I could live a better, fuller life.”

That fuller life includes the birth of his grandson, Brooks. While the donation of a liver, Dan wouldn’t have been alive to meet him.

It’s a gift he doesn’t take for granted.

“Today I feel great. I’m 65 and have more energy than I ever did. I have a positive outlook. I have changed my diet, I don’t smoke or drink. I don’t take a moment here on earth for granted. I make sure I spend time with family and friends, you never know what the future holds,” says Dan.

Dan also shares his experience with organ donation to raise awareness. He encourages people to become donors themselves.

“Organ donation is a gift to others that allows their life to go on. I want donor families to know that your generous decision to donate your loved ones’ organ will be received with dignity and respect.”

To learn more and to register to become a donor go to BeADonor.org.

Few details offered after body pulled from Rappahannock River

STAFFORD — The body of what is being described only as male was pulled from the Rappahannock River on Sunday. 

The Stafford sheriff’s office — the lead investigating agency on the case — was called to the Fredericksburg City Dock at 5:46 p.m. Sunday. 

That’s where the body of the unidentified male was pulled from the water.

Potomac Local is just learning these details form the sheriff’s office today. 

The case is under investigation, and authorities have not released the cause of death. Stafford sheriff’ spokeswoman Amanda Vicinanzo said the name of the deceased will not be released “out of respect for the family.” 

Stafford County is the lead investigative agency in this case because the Rappahannock River is the county’s jurisdiction, she added.

The department also declined to update the media with new any new information on the March 29 death of a Moutain View High School student killed in a car crash on Poplar Road in western Stafford County. 

So far we know that at least two people were involved in the crash. Vicinanzo said this case also remains under investigation.

Firearm discharged in parking lot of Stafford Royal Farms

Sewell

STAFFORD COUNTY — Stafford County authorities were called to a Royal Farms gas station Tuesday after a gun went off.

Stafford authorities said two men were outside in the gas station parking lot when one of the men who was sitting inside a vehicle discharged a firearm sending a bullet into a windshield narrowly missing the second man who was standing outside of the vehicle.

Deputies arrived on the scene at 1236 Warrenton Road and found shrapnel on where the suspect’s car had been parked. Authorities said the two men had just from a Walmart store across the street where they had purchased items for the firearms section.

The victim told police the two men then went to Royal Farms to buy more items, and as they walked outside of the gas station to the parking lot the suspect got into his car, pointed a gun at the victim and fired one round nearly striking his head.

The victim suffered minor injuries from the flying glass that shattered after the bullet was fired. Police later arrested the suspect at a nearby Red Roof Inn on Warrenton Road.

Alexander Calen Sewell, 22, of Bumpass, is charged with shooting from a vehicle, reckless handling of a firearm, felonious assault, and with use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Sewell is due to make an appearance in Stafford County General District Court on these charges on May 3.


Tour four beautiful homes at the Clifton Homes Tour for Charity

The Clifton Community Woman’s Club will host the 46th Annual Clifton Homes Tour and Silent Auction on Friday, May 18. Tour: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Silent Auction: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Clifton Presbyterian Church. Proceeds benefit the Club’s 501(c)(3) Charitable Trust and are distributed to local scholarships and charities.

The Tour offers guided tours of four beautiful homes in Clifton. Visitors can tour a farmhouse built in 1900 with furniture and antiques specific to Virginia. In another home, bold colors and true Williamsburg style combine to create a fun family atmosphere. A third home balances natural elements and 18th-century proportion. A fourth home is a Georgian hilltop manor with Virginia-made furniture and original artwork.

Free guided tours are offered for two historic churches: Clifton Baptist Church (1910) and Clifton Primitive Baptist Church (1871). Other events with free admission include a Silent Auction, Trinkets and Treasures, and wreath sale at the Clifton Presbyterian Church.

Tour tickets may be purchased in advance for $25 at local businesses: in Manassas at Flower Gallery; in Clifton at Adler’s Art & Frame, Belle Jar Design, and Hydrangea of Clifton; in Centreville at Banner’s Hallmark; in Burke at Five Star Hair, The Picket Fence, and The Yarn Barn; in Fairfax at Twinbrook Floral Design. Tickets are also available online for $30 at cliftoncwc.org or at Clifton Presbyterian Church (12748 Richards Ln, Clifton, VA 20124) the day of the tour.

Please visit cliftoncwc.org or contact Kay at kaygilbert@cox.net for more information.


We need a freelance community reporter

We’re seeking a freelance reporter who has a passion for community and who isn’t afraid to pick up the phone, use email, or dig on the web to get details.

Our ideal writer will be familiar with the Prince William County, Virginia region to include the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

They will be able to write about local government, schools, business, events and features.

Much if not all of the writing can be completed while working from home.

Experience gained while writing for a community news publication is preferred but not required.

Interested?

Send your resume, links to three of your best articles, and contact info to Uriah Kiser.

 

No retailpocalypse here: How much longer can the grocery wars last?

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