I have a LOT of causes that I am a HUGE advocate for because of our experience with Annabelle… including but not limited to CHD awareness (and the HUGE need for more funds for research), newborn pulse-ox screening for heart defects, the extreme value and fabulous work of the Ronald McDonald house, the Children’s Miracle Network, children’s hospital volunteering… just to name a few.
But an obvious cause that is close to my heart as well is organ donation.
April is National Donate Life Month. I couldn’t let the month go by without a friendly reminder of the IMPORTANCE of not taking your organs with you when you go.
Currently, over 118,000 people are waiting for an organ donation.
18 people die each day waiting for a donor to become available.
1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives.
In 2011, 281 infants under 1 years of age received an organ donation. Annabelle was one of them.
(statistics were found at organdonor.gov)
Organ donation is not a comfortable topic. I get that. Prior to Annabelle, I’d given it virtually no thought. I figured when I died, they could donate if they wanted to, I didn’t care. But there is a big misconception that the medical community does not do everything needed to save a person if they are an organ donor. That is simply not true. (and if it was true, I’d be the first to fight AGAINST such practices.)
As a parent, I did not sit in a hospital room and pray for someone else’s child to die. In fact, I sat there most days, watching my own child die slowly, my heart breaking at the thought of someone else losing their precious one, at the fact that it was the only way for my baby to live. There are no words to adequately describe that horrific feeling.
But I determined not to dwell on it… I did not desire another child to die, only that if the unthinkable happened, that their parents would be able to make the choice to allow another to live, even in the midst of their grief. I prayed that the parents would be able to ENJOY every moment with their child, that they would treasure every smile and giggle.
It’s all I knew to pray for.
I know most of you have heard me/read me talk about organ donation, so I won’t go on. But this is just my annual shout out for the cause… if you aren’t a registered donor, you can go here to find out how to register in your state.
Discussion: Has anyone you know been touched by organ donation? Either been a donor or received a transplant?
I have had experience on both sides of organ donation. My first experience was when my brother drowned in 2006. They were able to revive him and get him breathing on a respirator, but he was brain dead. The option of organ donation was presented me — as a representative of the family — and we all agreed that that is just what he would have wanted. Because he had drowned, they were unable to use his lungs, and because his heart had been stopped for so long, they were unable to use it. But….his kidneys, his liver, his corneas and various tissues, skin and bone were all able to be used and that made us feel better somehow. Shortly after that, my husband took ill, and less than 2 years after my brother died, my husband received a life-saving liver transplant. I know just what you mean about that time spent waiting for a transplant. It is heart-wrenching. And in our case, things didn't turn out so well. My husband died of cancer just over 3 years after his transplant. But….he had 3 years of life that he most likely wouldn't have had if it wasn't for the transplant. I just always found it interesting that in 2 short years, I went from not having thought about organ donation, to being on both sides of the process.
Hang in there. I know you have lots of challenges. You are in my prayers….
Linda — Wichita, KS
My husband received his liver April 29, 2004. Our boys were 2 and 5 at the time. In 2009, we had a little girl. I can't imagine where we would be if someone had not made the choice to be a donor.
My mom was a kidney recipient in 2006 or 2007. She died in 2010 (for completely different reasons), but after recieving the organ donation, she did much better afterwards, and I was very thankful for that.
I'm a card-carrying organ donor and proud of it. If anyone can benefit from what I leave behind in my earthly body when the Lord takes me home, I'm all for it.
Well, of course I know Princess Annabelle personally! 🙂 I also know two sisters who did a sister-to-sister kidney donation.
As far as being an organ donor, YES I AM! Annabelle is the cause of the orange sticker on my license! 🙂
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