Compton spreads message about importance of organ donation - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Golfer Erik Compton spreads message about importance of organ donation

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Erik Compton  talks with the media following the first round at Travelers Championship. Erik Compton talks with the media following the first round at Travelers Championship.
CROMWELL, CT (WFSB) -

A pro golfer took a break from the Travelers to give back to local families whose lives were touched by heart transplants.

Pro golfer Erik Compton drew quite a crowd at his First Tee youth event at the Travelers this week, which had some special guests on hand, including local organ transplant recipients and donor families.

Compton, who a two-time heart transplant recipient, has inspired countless people including Connecticut's own Colby Salerno. Salerno received a new heart nearly two years ago and first met Compton during last year's Travelers tournament.

On June 17, Salerno held a golf tournament at the Country Club of Waterbury. Compton attended the awards dinner following the tournament.

"He stopped me and shard his story with me and it's things like that when I go to tournaments and I meet kids and I meet people who have gone through transplants and then for me to come back the next year and see them I mean look how healthy he looks," Compton said.

While on tour, Compton said he takes every chance he gets to spread the message about donating life.

"There were people who didn't believe in organ transplants, because they thought they didn't work. That people didn't have a normal life after transplants," Compton said. "So that was 22 years ago and now I'm able to be out here and be competitive and live a normal life."

More than 121,000 people are on waiting list in the United States, including 1,400 in Connecticut. A new name is added to the list every 11 minutes.

To put that into perspective, during a four-hour round of golf, approximately 24 new names go on the list.

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