Controversy lives on

Sadly, KHOU in Texas is reporting that Todd Krampitz has died. Krampitz was a successful young man stricken with cancer, who took unprecedented steps in organ procurement. He started a website and bought billboard space, begging for a liver donor. He received one in short order, from a family moved by his story.

Say what you will about his methods, but he didn't cut ahead in line -- the cadaveric liver was donated from outside the existing organ pool. He recruited at least that one donor, and potentially encouraged many more.

His old website,, is running an obituary and update. Upon his death, Krampitz became an organ donor himself:

All are grateful that Todd left a legacy to wake up America of the need for organ and tissue donation, which saves the lives of others.

His hopes and dreams were to increase organ donation awareness and help others to make the decision to donate. The increased awareness is evident through the overwhelming number of people who have shared their wishes to donate the gift of life. Today, Todd too was able to donate and improve the lives of others through donation.

Julie would like to express sincere thanks and gratitude to the wonderful team at LifeGift, the numerous doctors and nurses, the donor family and all of his friends and family.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to LifeGift. LifeGift can be contacted at 1-800-633-6562 or

Interestingly, the director of LifeGift was opposed to Krampitz going outside the system. His prognosis was poor, with or without a new liver -- and soliciting organs seems distasteful and unfair to many. GruntDoc, Rangel and I blogged about Krampitz in August, and the issue came up again in December when a family asked for a kidney on Craigslist.

Choosing organ recipients amidst such shortages has been called "a grim calculus." I can't fault any family in that situation for going public. And though his liver didn't buy him a lot of time, I think Krampitz' efforts will ultimately be seen as beneficial to the cause of donation.