Die and let Live

If years of watching Grey’s anatomy has done me any good, it is this. It taught me about Organ Donation and how it can save someone’s life.

Karen Wright had lost two of her children and her third was battling with a kidney failure.Valeri Wright Zachary, herself a mother of two, had been on kidney dialysis — for nearly five hours, every other day — for the past 20 years. Until she got her organ.A stranger’s decision to donate their organs long back, has given Valeri a second chance to have a normal life again.(Read source here)

Pragya Pareek of Jaipur says she has had a fresh lease of life and she owes this to the family of Vipul Bhai in Gujarat.Pragya had to undergo dialysis for 3 years before her second chance at life came. (Read source here)

This is just two of the many people who have had life handed back to them.Thanks to the complete strangers who decided to be Organ Donors. Hubby and I were talking about this few days back and we realized that people are not aware of the concept of Organ donation. And there are a whole lot of misconceptions about it.

Sadly, in India, not much is spoken about Organ Donation.According to the data available in India, we need approximately 1, 75, 000 kidneys, 50,000 hearts and 50,000 livers for transplantation every year. But as of now, we could only do around 5000 kidney and 400 liver transplants and just 10-15 heart transplants annually.(Read source here). I pray, that this would change soon.

If you are reading this, I am not asking you to donate your organs. All I am just asking is for you to give organ donation a thought. Do your research on it and after that, if you are convinced that you still do not want to be a donor, its totally your choice. But just don’t refuse it without giving it a thought.You could save someone’s life.

In countries like US and Canada, once decided, all you have to do is mark it on your health card or your driving licence.In countries like India, you have to go an extra mile and register yourself in of the registries. I hope you will go the extra mile in getting this done(if you decide to donate).I found this website that pretty much answered all question one may have regarding Organ Donation. Check it out. Invest your time in this.You may not reap the benefit but someone you love may.

After I die, if someone could live because of me, there is nothing I want more. I don`t think of this as a sacrifice but as a way of life.When we decided to become Organ donors, we realized how important it is for our family to support us in this decision.As hubby pointed out rightly, it is your family that will have to deal with result of your decision.So make sure that you include them when you decide.

Some FAQs on Organ Donation :

What is organ donation?

It means that a person pledges during his lifetime that after death, organs from his/her body can be used for transplantation to help terminally ill patients and giving them a new lease of life.

There are two ways of Organ donation:

  1. Living related donors: only immediate blood relations (brother, sister, parents & children) can donate as per the Transplantation of Human Organ Act 1994. Living donor can donate only few organs, one kidney (as one kidney is capable of maintaining the body functions), a portion of pancreas (as half of the pancreas is adequate for sustaining pancreatic functions) and part of the liver (as the few segments that are donated will regenerate after a period of time) can be donated.
  2. Cadaver Organ donor: can donate all organs after brain death.

What organs and Tissues can be donated?

The major donor organs and tissues are heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys, eyes, heart valves, skin, bones, bone marrow, connective tissues, middle ear, and blood vessels. Therefore one donor can possibly give gift of life to many terminally ill patients who would not survive otherwise.

What is brain death?

It is the irreversible and permanent cessation of all brain functions. Brain can no longer send messages to the body to perform vital functions like breathing, sensation, obeying commands etc. Such persons are kept on artificial support (ventilation) to maintain oxygenation of organs so that the organs are in healthy condition until they are removed. Most cases of brain death are the end result of head injuries, brain tumours patients from Intensive care units. Organs of such patients can be transplanted in organ failure patients to provide them a new lease of life.

How quickly should the organs be donated?

Healthy organs should be transplanted as soon as possible after brain death from the donor to the recipient.

Who can be a Donor?

Anyone, regardless of age, race or gender can become an organ and tissue donor. If he/she is under the age of 18 years, then the consent of parent or legal guardian is essential. Medical suitability for donation is determined at the time of death

Does organ / tissue removal affect cremation / burial arrangements or disfigure the body?

No.  The removal or organs or tissues will not interfere with customary funeral or burial arrangements.  The appearance of the body is not altered.  A highly skilled surgical transplant team removes the organs and tissues, which can be transplanted in other patients.  Surgeons stitch up the body carefully, hence no disfigurement occurs.  The body can be viewed as in any case of death and funeral arrangements need not be delayed.

Will the doctor ask permission of donation from my family, once the signed donor card is found?

Yes. Doctor will always ask the permission of organ donation from the family if your signed card is sighted. Therefore, it is important that you discuss your decision with family members and loved ones so that it will be easier for them to follow through with your wishes

Courtesy : http://www.sgrh.com/subcat.aspx?id=51


4 thoughts on “Die and let Live

    • Dear Canadian….

      I din’t do it but I’m glad that you got to do it. Even if it were for the wrong reasons…. But because most of the guys went, I believe the gals got half a day free 🙂

      Yours truly,
      Completely Indian.

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