After dealing with a myriad of personal hardships stemming from birth, Antonela Kasic has used her experiences, tribulations, and successes to impact others the same way that her life has been impacted.
As a child, Antonela was put on life support and needed to rely on others for her life whether it be doctors, organ donors, or family and friends. Luckily for her, there has always been a steady stream of support in her life.
At birth, Antonela was diagnosed with gangrene of the small intestine, and was immediately rushed to surgery. Her parents were told she had three days to live, that nothing could save her, and that if she survived, she would be bedridden.
Her parents refused to accept this fate and lose their child. They searched for better answers which led them to Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh, one of the best hospitals in the world, and known for its excellence in organ transplantation. In a short four month span, their lives were transported to an entirely different country.
Since then, Antonela has been out making an impact in her community. A resident of the North Side of Pittsburgh since moving to the United States from Croatia as an infant, Antonela has been working and volunteering on a consistent basis to serve others in need. Her experiences in the hospital have given her a soft and compassionate heart for others in the same situation and serves children who are sick in and around the Pittsburgh area.
Antonela organized high school assemblies to have students understand the importance of organ donation. During an average assembly she is able to speak to 300 students who are engaged throughout the assembly through personal stories, videos and games along with a Q&A session at the end. She also has students talk to their parents about their wishes for organ donation. Students 18 and over were able to sign-up at the time of the assembly to be an organ donor.
Antonela looks outward and thinks of others in the midst of their struggle and who desperately need hope. She provides support and comfort to patients awaiting an organ transplant.
The majority of Antonela’s time is spent with children in need of comfort and support. Her childhood was spent waiting for an organ transplant and sitting in a hospital bed. She knows firsthand how lonely and depressing time in the hospital can be and has made it her personal goal to help others in need of love. Others may spend the most energetic time of their lives by staying home, watching TV, and playing video games whereas Antonela has spent her time volunteering and making a difference in children’s lives.