Accidents, heart attacks, aneurysms…none of these are any of our favorite topics when it comes to our loved ones or even us. But, they happen to us, our families, and our friends. Sometimes, these events cause severe brain trauma in which a person’s life on this earth cannot continue. Sometimes, the brain dies while the rest of the body does not. However, life cannot be sustained without the work of the brain controlling body functions.
We know and believe, as Christians, that the life we have on this earth is not all we have — we have eternal life through Jesus Christ. But we can, under some circumstances, give the gift of life to save others when we die. Donating your organs, tissue, or eyes is a selfless act that could save the lives of possibly eight people or enhance the lives of up to 75 people, and it costs you nothing (can you think of someone who saved us and it cost us nothing?).
In 2015, 30,970 transplants were performed in the United States and more than 121,000 men, women, and children are currently waiting for a life saving transplant. Every 10 minutes someone new joins the list waiting for a new heart, lungs, liver, kidney, heart valves, veins, corneas, pancreas or intestine with kidneys being in the highest demand. The average waiting time for kidneys is four years, which could come from living donors!
Obviously, this is a very emotional experience for the donor family and the recipient. Indiana Donor Network is there to help every step of the way by working closely with the donor’s family, the surgical transplant team and the hospital staff. They are caring and compassionate professionals who help facilitate the giving of this gift of life.
If you have already registered to be an organ donor, there is a state law to protect your wishes. Talk to your family and share your decision to give this final earthly gift of life. You may sign up at the BMV or online.
As one transplant recipient stated “I truly believe that organ donation is God’s way of allowing families who lose loved ones to help others. It’s our last chance to help our fellow man.”
Enjoy a healthy and well-deserved Spring.
Jayne Dwyer-Reff, RN,