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Sharon J. Wright, lived 29 years after heart transplant Aug. 14, 1957 -- Sept. 10, 2009

Sharon J. Wright, one of the longest-living heart transplant recipients in the nation, died Thursday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. She was 52.

Mrs. Wright received a heart transplant when she was 23, as part of an organ transplantation study. She survived 29 years with the heart of a child, surviving amputations, cancer and a constant medical treatment regimen.

Despite her health issues, Mrs. Wright remained undaunted. Among other activities, she trained for and competed in the Transplant Olympics in the 1980s. In later years, she participated in another research project related to familial cardiomyopathy.

She also was a volunteer for Upstate New York Transplant Services.

Born in Lackawanna, she graduated from Lackawanna High School and Hilbert College and lived in Blasdell.

Mrs. Wright worked in a number of administrative positions for People Inc. and the West Developmental Center.

Survivors include her husband, Mark; a brother, Eugene Gehen; and a sister, Madonna Gehen.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Monday in Our Lady of Victory Basilica, 767 Ridge Road, Lackawanna.

[H/DAVIS]

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