I.C. Dodson and his little sister both developed Scarlet Fever when he was 4 years old. In later years that had a damaging effect on his heart. His father had a fatal heart attack when he was 66 years old. Henry knew that he was going to have to take care of himself. He became a dedicated runner, did not smoke, was not overweight and watched his diet. But in 1982 at the age of 47, he had a heart attack which led to open heart surgery.
All went well for fifteen years and then in April 1997 at the age of sixty two he needed another open heart operation. This time things did not go well. He spent all spring and summer in and out of the hospital.
On September 2, 1997 the doctors told him that his heart damage was very extensive and the he probably only had three or fiur months to live. They suggested that he go to the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, for a possible heart transplant. He believed that it was the end for him. The pain and sickness and not being able to eat or sleep were so unbearable that he prayed to God to end it all.
God’s answer was “NO”. He was placed on a waiting list for six weeks and on October 9, 1997 he received a transplant. The donor was a young man of seventeen.
What it has done for him would be hard to explain. If it had not been for that young man and The Organ Donation Program, he would not have been able to receive the gift of life and tell his story.
Henry has traveled the State of Ohio lecturing to both masonic and non-masonic groups. He has recently received the Senior Citizen of the Year Award from the Medical Advisory Council of Ohio for his volunteer efforts in promoting organ and tissue donations.
Henry and his wife Shirley live in Bellbrook, Ohio. They have been married for more than fifty three years and have two adult children. Henry served in the United States Navy and retired from Delco-Moraine with 22 years of service.
If you would like more information on the Donor Program, click on the “Donate – Life” logo below.