Four Scott County residents who have undergone organ transplants will receive some vital help beyond their life-saving surgeries, due to generosity of friends and family of Kenneth Roseberry.

Kenneth Roseberry, an employee of Morgan Foods, lost the struggle for survival on February 23, 2001, in a Louisville hospital, where, if events had gone well, he would have received a new liver in a transplant procedure. Kenneth had Nash’s Syndrome, a type of chronic cirrhosis of the liver that affects non-alcoholics. Kenny left behind a wife, Vickie, and his fellow workers, many of whom had strived since late summer in 2000 to raise the necessary funds for Kenneth’s transplant operation.

After his death, his family and friends established the Kenneth Roseberry Memorial Fund at the Scott County Community Foundation to help future transplant recipients.

Ten years later, local patients are now receiving assistance for the ongoing costs related to their transplant surgeries. For Scott County residents, these transplants take place at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky.

“Despite many advances, transplant patients must undergo lifelong medical treatment to ensure that their transplanted organ is not rejected by their bodies,” explained Michael Marvin, M.D., Director of Transplantation at Jewish Hospital and Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Louisville. “While a new organ can save a patient’s life, the cost of subsequent medication and testing is high. Even years after a transplant, the possibility of organ rejection is still present.”

Transplant recipients are monitored for the risk of rejection with frequent lab work, biopsies and CT scans, which are all costly. Also, because of the economic downturn, many patients have lost insurance, and Medicare has limited drug coverage. Patients have to meet deductibles and copayments as well.

Through the growth of the memorial fund, over $53,000 in assistance is available to organ transplant recipients in Scott County who exhibit financial need. Locally, this has resulted in assistance for four patients who’ve received a liver, kidney or lung transplant.

The Indiana Organ Procurement Organization (IOPO) is the non-profit health service dedicated to advancing organ, tissue, and eye donation throughout Indiana. IOPO works to match donors and recipients across 86 of Indiana’s 92 counties, while raising funds that will help to educate residents about the importance of Donating Life.

Jewish Hospital reports that 220 people from the Scott County area have been on the organ transplant list since 2001, including those individuals who are now deceased, are not candidates, or have not yet received transplants.

“We are so grateful to Mr. Roseberry’s family and friends for establishing this fund to help others in need,” said Jaime Toppe, executive director at Scott County Community Foundation.  “It’s heartening to see people make such a meaningful difference for our Scott County transplant patients.”