If you’re new to my world, then let me start off by saying that our family was impacted by organ donation when my youngest son received a new liver related to a rare genetic disorder called Urea Cycle Disorder. This is by no means an easy decision and comes with challenges that differ from family to family. I wrote about our journey in a book called Lennon Steps.
Organ donation is the process of giving an organ or a part of an organ to a person in need of a transplant and it has the potential to save lives and improve the quality of life of those who receive transplants. Despite the benefits, many people are still hesitant to become donors due to various misconceptions and fears. And if you happened to by and read my book, my intention is not to scare anyone but perhaps share the miracle my son is.
One of the biggest myths about organ donation is that doctors won’t work as hard to save a patient’s life if they know the patient is an organ donor. This is simply not true. Doctors and medical staff are committed to saving every patient’s life, regardless of their donor status. In fact, organ donation can only be considered after all efforts to save a patient’s life have failed and brain death has been declared.
Another common myth is that organ donation is against religious beliefs. However, all major religions support organ donation as an act of charity and love toward others. In fact, many religious organizations encourage their members to become organ donors and view it as a way to save lives and show compassion for others.
Organ donation can come from living donors or deceased donors. Living donation is usually limited to organs such as the kidney or liver, as these organs can regenerate and the donor can still live a healthy life with one kidney or a partial liver. Deceased donation, on the other hand, can include organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, and kidneys. Deceased donation can occur when a person has suffered irreversible brain damage and their organs can be used to save the lives of others.
One of the most important reasons to consider becoming an organ donor is the impact it can have on others. Organ donation has the potential to save many lives and improve the quality of life for those who receive transplants. For example, a single donor can provide organs to save up to eight lives and improve the lives of up to 75 people through tissue donation.
In addition to saving lives, organ donation also offers benefits to donor families. Families of donors often find comfort in knowing that their loved one’s organs have been used to save the lives of others. Many donor families also find solace in the fact that their loved one’s legacy lives on through their donation.
Being an organ donor is a selfless act that can save lives and improve the quality of life for those in need of a transplant. By becoming an organ donor, you can make a significant impact on the lives of others and leave a lasting legacy. It’s important to have conversations with your family and loved ones about your wishes regarding organ donation and to consider registering as a donor today. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those in need.
And as someone who has watched my son on the brink of death more than I’d like to remember, words will never be able to express how hard it was but also how amazing it was all at the same time. In just a few months, my son will turn 20 years old having received three new livers in total.
Because of organ donation, I get to see him grow up and live his best life and while we still have other challenges we face I wouldn’t change a thing.