Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Like Donating Life

Ahhh Thursday and To Like or Not to Like!!!! Today's is easy as I have been thinking about it for several days. Why? Because my mind works in many strange ways. When I look at something or someone...sometimes it sets off a chain reaction that makes me think of something else...which then makes me think of another something which in the end.....really has nothing to do with what I was originally thinking about. Yeah...I know! Scary!

You ready to hear the train of thought that got me to today's Like? Here goes. The other day I was at Walmart looking at iPod's (RIP Mr. Job) and as I did I was thinking that I was too old to be looking at "toys". This got me to thinking of Z...who should have been the one standing there drooling over these shiny, musical play things. For some reason at this point I wondered if he had taken his sophomore school pictures yet and what his school ID would look like this year since his hair is blond and short instead of long and black. This got me to thinking about his drivers license and wondering if he changed his appearance drastically like that if he would have to get a new license with a picture of how he currently looked? This then made me wonder if he had signed the back of his license to be a donor. From there I was thinking about someone who had once told me if you want to be a donor....never sign your license but put it in a living will. If you sign your license then they might let you die and use you as a donor when they could have saved you. I then thought....what a bunch of bull. Which then made me think of Tim (my late husband) who had NOT signed his license but had discussed his decision to be a donor with me...and upon his death I gave the go ahead for him to be a donor. Had I not been there though.......well that is kind of what this blog is about. All of this thinking just standing there in Walmart. Think how deep I might have gone had I been in a library. But I digress.

So today....I like (love) donors. We all know that all we have to do is sign the back of our drivers license and upon our death...if our organs are viable.....we can be donors. What does it mean to be a donor? It can mean a second chance at life  for someone or at the very least....a chance at a better life for someone. Whether it means a compatible heart or liver, or cornea's, bone or skin, these are all life changing donations for someone in need. And what does it mean for the organs to be viable? It means that major organs such as heart, liver, lungs, kidney's etc......have to be harvested while they are still living and healthy. Often the donor is put on or kept on life support until said organs have been removed. Other donations such as skin, bone and cornea's can be removed and used within a certain amount of time after death.

It is obvious what use the major organs can be to someone. They can literally save a life and add years that someone might not have had otherwise. Other donations though such as bone, cornea and skin might not be life saving but could definitely be life altering such as helping someone to see again, walk or move properly or start repairing damage from a burn or accident. In a certain way...the donor literally continues to live on through others. What an amazing gift.

In our situation, Tim had not signed his drivers license. I have no idea why, but he had said on more than one occasion that he wanted to be a donor. I knew those were his wishes. When I came home to find Tim, he had been gone for several hours. The major organs were no longer viable and so I assumed his being a donor was out of the question. When the coroner finally came though....they asked me if he was a donor. I said yes but I had no idea he had at that point....anything donatable. I was wrong. We donated skin, bone and his corneas. In a felt as if Tim had done so much for so many in life.....and now....even in death he would continue to help others. It was one of the few things that helped me to survive the nightmare of losing him.

On the day of Tim's funeral after everyone had left....I got a call. It was a young woman whom I only casually knew, but she knew of Tim's death. She had ties to the local organ bank and although she was not suppose to tell me....she let me know that Tim's cornea's had been transplanted that day into a man....just about Tim's age.....who would now be able to see thanks to Tim. I cried! My beautiful, wonderful husband was living on and continuing to help others. It was amazing and helped to make one of the worst days of my life...just a little better.

Blessedly, I nor my family has never needed any sort of organ donations.....although David and I both went through blood like a couple of vampires after he was born. I hope though...if the need ever does arrive, someone as caring and wonderful as my Tim has either singed their drivers license or made their wishes known loud and clear, so through may continue for others. If you have any questions....or would simply like to know more about organ donation head on over to Organ Donation America and learn what donation can mean for both you and others.

So there you have it. Today....I like organ donation and now you know a little more about the really scary inner workings of my mind. Hope you have a great day and Happy Thursday everyone!


Anonymous said...

You need to quit with the decent blogs. You make it hard to find fault.

Anonymous said...

LOL @Anon!!!

Chris L.

Anonymous said...

Awesome. ****

Steve J.