I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears, behold I will heal thee.
2Kings 20:5

Monday, October 19, 2009

Donor Awareness

I have really been thinking a lot on the power of just one. . . .just one person who chooses to be an Organ Donor~ My Donor saved my life along with probably as many as 7 others. That is a powerful and wonderful gift to give to so many people. I try hard to raise awareness, I think that's the key to saving more lives. If you think you can't make a difference in this world, you are soooo wrong. You are the most precious and heroic person to the people who you give a second chance at life to. It's indescribable the emotional attachment I have to a person who I may never know anything about, but she is my hero and I love her. If you don't know some of the facts about organ and tissue donation and the need for donors please read the rest of my post.

The success rates of transplant surgery have improved remarkably, but growing shortages exist in the supply of organs and tissues available for transplantation. Many Americans who need transplants cannot get them because of these shortages. The result: some of these people die while waiting for that "Gift of Life."

Here are some facts everyone should know:

Updated 8.26.09

Stats and Facts
Facts about Organ and Tissue Donation:

-- Across the country, more than 103,000 people are waiting for organ transplants. A new name is added to the national waiting list every 12 minutes.

--In 2008, 6,627 transplant candidates – one person every 80 minutes – died in the United States while awaiting transplantation. Right now, 18 people die every day waiting for a transplant. As of August 21, 2009, the national waiting list included 1,765 children younger than 18 years old.

--Each year in the United States, approximately 11,000 people die under conditions that make them medically suitable potential organ donors. In 2008, only 7,990 of those who died in the United States became organ donors.

--A new name is added to the waiting list every 12 minutes.

--The average consent rate nationwide for organ donation has risen from 58% in 2003 to 70% in 2008. A survey conducted by Donate Life America in 2009 found that 50% of Americans wish to donate organs and/or tissue, 26% are undecided and 24% do not wish or are reluctant to donate.

--Only 38% of Americans are registered on their state's donor registry. Documenting one’s wishes about donation is important, because donor designation is legal and cannot be overridden by one's family; however, sharing this decision with family members is important as well. A potential donor’s next-of-kin will be consulted before donation takes place.

--Transplantation is no longer considered experimental. It is a desired treatment for thousands with end-stage organ disease. Each year, approximately 1,000,000 Americans receive tissue transplants, 41,000 receive cornea transplant and nearly 25,000 receive organ transplants.

--In recent years, medical breakthroughs have greatly improved the success rate for transplantation... it now generally runs in excess of 80% for transplants overall.

--Under ideal conditions, one person can donate as many as eight organs (heart, two lungs, liver, pancreas, two kidneys, and intestine). At today's average recovery and transplantation rates, the current pool of potential donors could meet the needs of up to 40,000 people per year.

--Tissue donation can give the gift of sight, save burn victims from disfigurement, provide relief from amputation, and grant other life-enhancing assistance.

And to dispel some myths and misconceptions:

--Organs are allocated based on the urgency of medical need, not according to a patient's financial, political, social or celebrity status. The length of time it takes to receive a transplant is based solely on medical criteria like blood type, height and weight, and time spent waiting. The most important factor that affects length of time waiting is a lack of organ donors.

--Only increased medical need can “move” someone higher on the national waiting list for organs. Rich and famous people have to wait like everyone else.

--Donation is consistent with the life-preserving traditions of most major religions.

--Donation is not discussed until all efforts to save a life have failed. If someone is sick, injured and/or admitted to a hospital, the first priority is to save that person’s life. If all possible efforts to save a patient’s life have failed, the family is then asked about giving the gift of life through organ and tissue donation.

--Donor families incur no expense for donation.

--Donation is a sterile surgical procedure. In most cases, one can be a donor and have an open casket funeral.

--Organs and tissues can be donated by people of all ages.

--People with a history of medical illness still can be donors. At the time of death, medical professionals evaluate a potential donor’s medical and social history to determine suitability for donation. Constant advances in transplantation mean many more people can be donors than ever before. While only a small percentages of people die in a manner suitable for organ donation, nearly everyone can be a tissue and eye donor.


Save a life..."Be Someone's Hero"....Be an Organ Donor


Nancy said...

Great post, Jamie! Education is so important! Have you seen Three Rivers? I would love to know your thoughts on it!

I am glad you are having a good visit at home. I can't wait for the day that I can get back to Wyoming again.

Love you! Nancy

Jamie said...

Hmmmmm.... Bryan and I had some good laughs :) It's great that it will raise awareness about life saving transplants and addresses Organ Donation, but it's pretty "HOLLYWOOD"

It's amazing how sci-fi it actually appears. . . touch screens, flat panel TV's everywhere, instant results. . .we know how all that REALLY works ~ but it will raise awareness along with some misconceptions I am sure.

Groomer Angie said...

Thank you for posting this!! My mother was an organ donor back in Aug 2004 & I have volunteered with our local Donate Life organization ever since. You'd be amazed at the questions I am asked when I speak about donation!
Reading your blog has been such a blessing to me! I have not heard from any of Mom's recipients, but I can feel closer to them reading what you feel since you are a recipient. So glad you are doing so well! I will be following from here on out. :)
Blessings to you & your family,

Where to start to learn about my transplant!

Thank You for taking the time to read my blog. I am hoping that through this blog and my experiences that I can bring hope, faith and strength to all that may be living with Cystic Fibrosis, CF with Cepacia and Lung Transplant recipients. Information and blog entrees start Nov. 07. My Double Lung Transplant was on Dec. 10th 2007. Please feel free to read about my experience and ask me any questions! My email address is jamiebug77@gmail.com

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My Testimony

It's hard to put into words how I feel toward my Heavenly Father and the Savior. I have so many reasons to be thankful for what I have gone through & endured. Because of my trials in life I have gained a strong testimony of Faith. I have always had Faith in the Lord and in Prayer. As I faced the decision to get a double lung transplant I had to rely on faith to make the choice.....By listening to the spirit, I was guided to Pittsburgh where my life was saved. I believe prayers are answered. I have always tried to follow the philosophy of this: If I do what the Lord expects of me, he will give me what I want & need. That has always worked for me. I Believe in MIRACLES..........My life on this earth is a miracle- I prayed on my knees for years to be healed from my lung disease. I knew that through a priesthood blessing (if it was God's will) I could be healed. So many times I thought he would heal me instantly...my faith was tested as I continued to get sick and no cure was in my future. I turned to prayer....I talked to my Heavenly Father, I cried to him and he heard me and he healed me by guiding me to Pittsburgh and guiding the surgeons hands. I learned humility, and thankfulness. I realized that we need others to lean on and we are supposed to strengthen each others testimonies. I learned that the hardest things we'll do are usually the greatest blessings in our life. I was able to experience a lot of things during surgery and I know I had comforting angels in my ICU room. THe Lord knows each of us by name and he will never leave our side. We need to remember to stay close to him and have Faith that he is watching over us. I know this for a fact! I know that following the gospel will bring us true happiness- the world will tell us otherwise, but I know I am truely happy & living the gospel has brought me that. Amen