IT WAS JUST ANOTHER HUMID DAY in August,
but Dr. Randall “Randy” Marc Giles was on top of
The 43-year-old father of three was about to
open a private surgical practice in Wayne. He had
stopped at a friend’s house after unloading boxes
at his new office when he started to feel funny; his
speech was beginning to slur and his facial muscles
weakened. A surgeon for a decade, he knew these
were warning signs of a stroke. He needed to get to
a hospital immediately.
An ambulance brought Randy to the emergency
room at the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood. He went
straight into surgery, but despite a neurosurgeon’s
best efforts, Randy could not be saved. He had suffered from an intracerebral hemorrhage—a stroke
in the brain most likely caused by hypertension. The
family was told that Randy was being kept alive on
ventilators because he was a registered organ donor.
“That…was a tough day,” says Randy’s father, F.
Michael Giles, a retired state Superior Court judge.
“I think I’ve put some of it out of my mind.”
Randy had been diagnosed with diabetes a few
years earlier and had always been a “big guy,” Giles
says, but his loss was unexpected and left the fam-
ily devastated. The one saving grace, Giles says,
was that he was able to save lives one last time.
That’s where New Jersey Sharing Network
comes in. After meeting with the family, a transplant team from the Sharing Net work procured
Randy’s organs and tissues.
Randy’s organs saved five lives; his tissue
donation helped more than 50 others. That eased
the pain of his family’s loss. “There really is no
comfort that can be extended to your family,”
says Giles, “except if you’re an organ donor.”
The New Jersey Sharing Network is a federally
designated organ procurement organization (OPO)
responsible for coordinating the recovery and
transportation of organs and tissue. The nonprofit,
located in New Providence, is the sole OPO for
northern and most of central New Jersey, cover-
An unexpected trauma has occurred. The medical
team has done its best for the patient, but all hope is lost.
With recovery ruled out, organ donation becomes a
possibility. That’s when the Sharing Network steps in.
By Breanne McCarthy