This I Believe

SUSAN - Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Entered on July 20, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: illness

This I believe….

I believe in the importance of “making the decision to give” – to give the ultimate gift that one can possibly give – one’s organs or those of a loved one upon death.

I made this very decision several years ago, when asked at a Driver’s License renewal center. (Would I want to be an organ donor?) Caught a little off guard I thought for several seconds and answered “YES” realizing that this is what I would want – if my family was ever put in the unfortunate position of having to donate my organs. It was noted accordingly with the simple click of a button below my driver’s license picture and every four years I am asked to answer the same question once again to which I respond YES once again

Little did I know then, that years later, organ donation would become such a personal subject to me – as my husband was place on the Organ Waiting list in Sept. 2004 for a kidney and pancreas transplant.

After over 30 years of Type 1 diabetes his kidneys were failing and his blood sugars were becoming more and more difficult to control. He was in serious need of a kidney (and pancreas if available.) The wait was difficult and seemingly endless; as health issues started cropping up we both were losing hope that the situation would have a positive outcome. My husband was not just a statistic, a number on a waiting list – he was a living breathing human being that was in desperate need of an organ donation. After waiting for a year and a half – one cold February day in 2005 day a phone call came in from the coordinator at the Hospital he was listed at. They said that they had a possible match for him – he was now on standby and a call would be made later that day to let us know what the next step was. This second call received later in the day told us to come to the hospital for a “workup” and plan to stay if needed… We knew that this could be the end of the long unbearable wait one way or another. But we also knew at the same time that he could be turned down in the end and the thought of this seemed worse than anything. After arriving John soon found out that he was the selected candidate and he received both organs after undergoing an over 8 hour operation. He now has a new life – one that our whole family greatly appreciates.

Words can not describe the feelings that we both have for the family of John’s donor. (Twice now, immediately after the transplant and on the one year anniversary, we have tried to express them in a letter but it one of the most difficult letters to write.) They made that important decision – the ultimate decision to donate the organs of a loved one –she was a 40 year old woman who had died unfortunately before her time.

The importance of organ donation – in this I believe.