You don’t need your organs when you’re gone – and that’s a fact. It’s April and that means it is organ donation awareness month. The reality is that without organ donation my kid wouldn’t be here today – it gave him a quality of life that the urea cycle disorder robbed him of. Organ donation gave him a second chance when he was given 2-5 years to live due to chronic liver disease.
When we first headed into this journey in 2008 – I heard people say that they would never and then gave me a list of reasons most of them related to religion. And I don’t want to rob anyone of their beliefs or tell them what to do but when we die – we get buried in the ground or cremated – and I am sorry you don’t need your organs in that space.
One deceased organ donor can save up to eight lives! Two people can be freed from dialysis treatments with the donation of two kidneys. A donated liver can be split so that two people receive the gift. Also, two lungs can give the gift of life to two people and the pancreas and heart can also be donated.
One tissue donor – someone who can donate bone, tendons, cartilage, connective tissue, skin, corneas, sclera, heart valves, and vessels – can impact the lives of as many as 75 people.
And the decisions to agree to receive the gift of life doesn’t come easily by any means because there are so many things that can go wrong – take my son’s story – he received his first call and after a 5 hours surgery had to be rushed back to the operating room trying to fix the artery. He ended up being relisted and received another liver three days later. And his recovery after that was long and hard and difficult at best.
Here’s the thing I don’t want to scare people about this but our recovery journey was hard and complicated leading to three transplants altogether. And I will always be an advocate for being an organ donor so that people like my son get that chance no matter their age.