On Feb. 13 of this year, I celebrated 18 years of a new life.
In 2001 I received a heart; tragically, someone did pass away, but at the same time the decision was made by family to donate their loved one’s organs, even as they were suffering. They knew the death could help someone else, and it did. I do not know how many others were recipients of a life-saving organ that day but I am positive they appreciated it.
Fast forward: April 2018 found 113,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, 83 percent waiting for kidneys. One hundred infants were also waiting for a life-saving donation. Eight thousand in that group died waiting. My nephew died three years ago, waiting for a heart transplant.
The most frequent donor concern is that the doctor won’t try and save your life if you’re registered as a donor. No. False. I can attest to that. When I coded in January 2001, I was a perfect candidate to be an organ donor, except for my heart. They worked on me a long time and, obviously, brought me back.
A month later I received a new heart. The time span is very unusual; I was very lucky. The day, Feb. 13, 2001, and after saying “goodbye” to my husband and son, I reminded the staff I was an organ donor. Thankfully, I didn’t have to follow through on that.
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