Become an Organ Donor

Essay by BGOODING April 2004

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Become an Organ Donor

By this time tomorrow, 16 people in America who are alive right now will be dead.

Not because they were in a car accident

Not because they were gunned down

Not because their time had come

Not even because they couldn't get to a hospital

These folks will be dead simply because they couldn't be given a life saving organ transplant in time

Money is not the issue..most insurance carriers provide coverage, and private and public organizations often pick up the parts not covered

Nor is scarcity....there's lots of organs out there....

Indeed there are literally millions of organs that could be made available to these transplant candidates.... but they have to come from donors.... and donors have to volunteer.... and the families of the donors have to agree with the donors' choice.

Last year in the United States, there over 19,000 organ transplants performed. These organ transplants were made from 9845 donors, since many donors are able to donate multiple organs.

Now, 19,000 transplants may seem like a lot, until you learn that there are currently over 83000 patients on the National Transplant Registry, awaiting transplants.

I have two personal stories to relate regarding organ transplants:

In 1986, my son was a junior in high school. One of his favorite teachers, who also happened to be personal friend of ours, was diagnosed with a fatal heart disease, for which there was no cure. His only hope was an organ transplant. He was in and out of the hospital for several weeks during that spring and summer, and unfortunately he died while waiting for a donor heart. That heart never came.

Five years later, we found out that my sister's husband, who had received a tainted blood transfusion over 15 years ago, had contracted a liver...