FEBRUARY 26, 2018
Because our family had such a major experience with organ donation, I want to share some thoughts about that commitment and process. You should know that I am an advocate for LifeCenter Northwest, the organ donation center for our part of the country, and have written articles, given presentations, and appeared on TV for this cause.
Organ donation is not easy. I sincerely believe that everyone should consider signing up to be a donor, either for all organs or for eyes specifically. I hope that everyone reading this column will consider signing up.
What are you signing up for? Because heart transplants and kidney transplants are often in the news, people tend to view organ donation as something involving the major organs. Of course, the major organs are involved. Our son’s body became a source of a new heart, new lungs, new liver, new pancreas, and new kidneys for six people.
However, you need to know that over 100 people actually benefited from his body parts, way beyond just major organs. Two people were saved from amputations because of his veins, for example. Everything from vertebrae to tendons to muscle tissue to skin to eye corneas and so much more was harvested and stored to help people in operations of all kinds.
If donation is easy to sign up for and so beneficial, why did I start by saying it is not easy? This is a major commitment which requires consent to dismemberment of a body, leaving cremation as the logical end. Furthermore, it is a commitment which involves time because the hospital crew and transplant crew have to work together for several days to ready the body for removal of organs and other parts and to ready the patients on the other end for transplants which must happen immediately and provide for storage of the parts which can be used later.
I will continue with this topic next week, but I want you to consider the necessity of thought and commitment in this process.
I just want to continue to share ideas about grief and life with people who long as I do for comfort and understanding.