October 6, 2011
Organ and Tissue Donation
Every day 18 people will lose their lives waiting for an organ transplant. Every 10 minutes another name is added to the list of patients that are in need of an organ. For a day that passes, 75 people will receive an organ transplant that will save their life (www.organdonor.gov). Organ and tissue donation not only saves lives and keeps families together; it is a gift that keeps on giving.
What is organ and tissue donation? Organ donation is the process of recovering organs and tissue from a person who is deceased or living in order to save the lives of those who are in need. One donor can save up to 8 people from organ donations and 100 lives from tissue donations. What parts of the human body can be donated? Transplantable organs are the kidneys, heart, lungs, pancreas, intestines, and the liver. Tissues that can be donated are the cornea (coating of the eye), middle ear, veins, heart valve, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and skin. Blood platelets, stem cells, and blood can also be donated (www.donoralliance.com).
Being an organ or tissue donor does not mean one have to be deceased. Organ donation can come from an individual who is among the living. One can donate part of the liver, pancreas, intestine, and give a kidney. Helping someone with an organ does not have to come from one who has expired (www.womenshealth.gov)
Kathleen Dundee of Massachusetts was diagnosed with cancer of the plasma-Multiple Myeloma. Multiple Myeloma is an incurable disease. Kathleen needed a kidney and bone marrow. All of Kathleen’s six siblings were tested to see if they were a match. There was only one match, her brother Jimmy. Jimmy underwent further testing to see if he was able to donate. The test Jimmy came back that Jimmy was healthy enough to live off of one kidney. The transplant surgery was a success! It has been...