Loveland, Niwot man share bond through injury, organ donation

While reminiscing at a coffee shop in Loveland, Scott La Point, left, and Jim Eastman, show a photo Thursday, Aug, 16, 2018, of them laying in the same hospital bed when they were in the hospital for a kidney transplant. La Point donated one of his kidneys to Eastman. (Jenny Sparks / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

From The Daily Camera
By Pamela Johnson

Jim Eastman and Scott La Point describe their describe their friendship as a double bond, built through a shared life-changing experience that neither of them chose — and a choice Scott made decades later.

“We’re attached at the kidney,” joked Jim, a 68-year-old Niwot man who, 14 months after a transplant, traveled to Utah with Scott, his donor, to compete in the Donate Life Transplant Games.

“It was beyond anything I have ever experienced, the sense of camaraderie” Scott, a 55-year-old Loveland man, said of the competition held Aug. 2-8. “It’s nice to come home with a medal, but you also come home with friendships.”

Scott and Jim spoke of the people they met at the games, including a 31-year-old who received a double lung transplant who, after years of living with cystic fibrosis, broke into a run just because, for the first time in her life, she could.

“You don’t realize how live-giving these donations are until you go to the transplant games,” said Jim.

The journey to the games is something the men took together — from surgeries to the finish line — yet their paths crossed because of traumatic brain injuries both had suffered separately decades earlier.

Injuries bring them together

Jim was in a roll-over accident in 1990 just three months after marrying his wife, Ruthie, and suffered an injury to his brain that changed his life because of how it changed the way his brain works.

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