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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.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CANDOK1260
    emoticon for sharing your story it gave me something to think about
    277 days ago
    What a personal story you have to our blog topic! I can only imagine how hard it is to think about that time when your son had his accident and passed away and you were faced with those decisions, even all these years later. It must have been such a tough decision for you and your daughter to make in the middle of all your heartbreak. But the gift of life was given to others through your son, and to know that he had already registered to be an organ donor on his learning permit without your knowledge is a testament to how special a young man he was! I am so glad you got the letters from some of his recipients and that it helped you with the healing process. I was so touched by your story, Barbie.
    I have been a registered organ donor for many years, and this story proves why it’s so important to do it! emoticon
    277 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I can't imagine what you went through. Your story has helped me and anyone else who reads your blog understand the importance of being an organ donor. Your story has personlized and made organ donation real in the minds of everyone who reads your blog. What an awesome thing your son did to make the choice to share his organs with anyone who may need them. How wonderful too, to know that you ended up upholding his wishes before you even knew what his wishes were. I hope your story helps others make the decision to be an organ donor. I have designated on my driver's license that I wish to be an organ donor. What a blessing to know that several of your sons organs helped other people live longer lives. emoticon emoticon
    277 days ago
    emoticon Thank you for sharing your story Barb. Yes, I am a registered or organ donor! emoticon
    277 days ago
    I'm so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute to your son. My brother received a kidney from a young girl who lost her life in a tragic accident. There isn't a day that goes by that he doesn't pray for her and her family. We will be eternally grateful that her parents were able to make the decision to donate her organs.
    277 days ago
    Thank you for an inspiring blog. You have my heartfelt sympathy and prayers. I'm glad you learned that your son made that choice on his Learner's Permit.

    I was a registered donor for years. When I renew my Driver's License next, I'll remove that, only because at 70 I think I've pretty much used up what anyone else might need.

    277 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing your Sons story. I am going to get my DL renewed this month and I will register as a donor. Thank you for making the right decision easy. I am so very sorry for your loss. I will always remember your story and why I registered. God Bless You Barb emoticon emoticon emoticon
    277 days ago
    I am so sorry for the loss of your son. That's wonderful that you abided by his wishes, even without knowing it. What a blessing to the organ recipients.
    277 days ago
    To begin with, I am so sorry for trhe loss of your beloved son. It is something that changes a parent forever. AND siblings. My brother was gravely ill @ age 19 and I saw how wonderfully the Drs. and nurses took care of him, so my path as a nurse was paved that day. He did pass away on 08 Feb. 1982 from a cerebral aneurysm. Completely life changing!

    Ok, my biggest message . . . . so wonderful that you and your DD could find the courage to allow organ donation. And how wonderful to find out that was your son's wish as well!

    God's blessings. I am a registered organ donor.
    277 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your story. You have helped to make organ donation personal and real in the minds of your readers. What a marvelous young man to have already made the choice to share himself. I hope your story helps others to make the same decision. I'm registered. Bless you, CJ
    277 days ago
    Great blog! I’m a registered donor.
    277 days ago
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