Aspire to Inspire - Organ Donation
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
One of our blog assignments for week 2 of the BSG challenge for February is:
February 14th is National Organ Donor Day - This day is a day to increase awareness about organ donation and the lives that can be saved. In the United States, there are more than 120,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ donation. Are you on the Organ Donor Registry list in your home state? Have you thought about being an organ donor?
When my children were growing up and I was much younger, I never really thought about becoming an organ donor. However, in February 1993 my son, Lee, who was 2 months shy of turning 16, was in a downhill skiing accident resulting in him being in a coma for 4 days. When we finally arrived at the hospital where he had been air-flighted, we were immediately approached about whether, in the unfortunate happening of his death, if we would consider donating his organs.
His father couldn’t even deal with the questions asked regarding organ donation. So, my 21 year old daughter and I dealt with all of the questions. What a terrible ordeal that was, making such decisions for such a young person at a time when we were in shock from it all. However, my daughter and I both agreed on the answers to most of the questions. Yes to organ donation; no to eye donation; and no to research.
On February 23, 1993, when we were faced with the fact that our son was brain dead with no hope for recovery and having to make the decision to take him off life support, the reality of organ donation came into play. I won’t even mention the trauma of that time.
However, I must tell you what comfort I felt when I eventually received letters from the organ recipients (anonymously). His heart went to a grandma who was thankful to be given the opportunity to watch her grandkids grow up thanks to our heartfelt gift. There were two other organs which were also given to others. I think those letters and his gifts began the healing process for me.
Imagine my shock to later find my son’s driver’s learner’s permit on which he had marked that he wanted to be an organ donor. Like I said, I had never really thought about being a donor, wasn’t even really aware that he could make that decision when he took his permit test. How proud I was to know that we had made the choice to donate his organs in accordance with his wishes.
After having been through all of this, I would encourage each of you to get on the Organ Donor Registry. Do this first to save your loved ones from going through ordeal my daughter and I went through, and second to gift the gift of life to someone. What a wonderful gift and such a blessing to the recipient and your loved ones.