The book I recently published is called Not Done Yet: A Tale of Transformation Through Transplant Surgery. In it I tell the ways my liver disease manifested and quickly progressed, the strategies my husband and I adopted to cope with my declining health, and how each action led to another on a downward, grasping spiral until we ran into the intersection of medicine and miracles that is transplant surgery. Every day I thank my donor and her extended family. The young heart transplant recipient in the video below echoes my thoughts and feelings perfectly in the letter she wrote to her donor. Please join the network of heroes who are registered as organ and tissue donors with state agencies across the country. April is the time of rebirth—a great time to sign up to donate life.
Lots of people don’t realize, there are many parts of the body that can be donated. Being ill or aged won’t necessarily keep you from your chance to be a donor. And you’re certainly never too young to register. Most major religions encourage or support organ donation. Being a donor doesn’t preclude an open casket funeral.
On average, eighteen people die on transplant waiting lists each day. Be the answer to someone’s prayer.
According to the government website Organ Donor, the kidneys, lungs, heart, liver, pancreas and intestines can be taken from the recently deceased and used to replace failing organs in the living. One kidney and parts of the pancreas, liver, lung and intestines can be donated from those still living.
Certain tissues can also be donated from the deceased, including corneas, the middle ear, skin, heart valves, bones, veins, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. These tissues can be stored in banks and used to restore sight, cover burns and repair hearts.
Stem Cells and Platelets
Stem cells can be donated from healthy individuals ages 18 to 60 and are harvested from bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cells or cord blood.
Blood and platelets can be donated from the living and stored according to blood type and Rh factors. Platelets are small fragments in the blood that help it clot.