A gift of life

Hey Guys: We’ve had stuff going on and I couldn’t write much lately. How are you?

I wanted to tell you a story about a man I met the other day. He was an older gentleman, later 70’s? maybe, named Dan and he told me he had a heart transplant 3 years ago.

donor

I asked him if he knew who donated the heart and he said it was an 18 year old girl from Maine that had an accident. She had turned 18 not long before and her parents had no idea she was an organ donor.

Dan has met the girl’s family and keeps in touch with them regularly.

family

I told Dan he was very lucky to get a heart because I know organs are hard to come by. He told me the process to get an organ is a terrible process. You move up and down the list depending on your health. If you are failing you move up, but then the doctors try and get you “better” with medication so then you are moved down if you improve.

Basically you have to be sick enough to get an organ but healthy enough to be able to go through it. Dan said he felt like the phone was never going to ring saying they had a heart for him.

I had a friend in college, named John, who had Cystic Fibrosis. I had never heard about it before but it’s a disease that affects your lungs and most people with CF don’t live longer than late 20’s.

CF

 

John started to fail suddenly when he was 27. He needed a pair of lungs ASAP. His sister who also had CF just got a donor and he knew the odds of both of them getting lungs was slim to none.

He was right. He died not long after falling ill, waiting for a donor.

John used to advocate for people to become organ donors.

I wasn’t a donor. In my 20’s death freaked me out and the thought of being buried without some of my organs seemed so creepy to me. I just couldn’t even think of giving away my organs.

I know John was disappointed in me, why wouldn’t he be? His family’s lives were forever changed by receiving and not receiving lungs when they needed them.

After meeting this man, Dan last week, I will become a donor. He goes to DMV’s and speaks on behalf of recipients of organs. He tells of the emotional anguish that the family goes through waiting. He tells of how many people are waiting for a donor and how many probably won’t get one.

organ-donation-graphic

It’s not that I didn’t know this as I saw my friend, John, go through this. I am older and wiser now and I know that my body is just a vehicle while I am here. I don’t need everything with me after I am gone, but so many other people do.

card

If  I can save a life after mine is over I will do it. I saw what this incredible gift that this 18 year old girl gave this older gentleman and his family.

Question of the day: Are you an organ donor?

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