9 Years ago today was a VERY memorable day. It was the day my dad got a liver transplant.
Today I give thanks to my dad’s donor, and to his donor’s family. I imagine that today is probably a sad anniversary for that family. It’s always felt unsettling to me that we celebrate a day that another family mourns.
I have no idea what kind of thought went into our donor’s family deciding to donate their loved ones organs. It could have been that the donor made it clear that he would donate his organs at the time of death, but maybe that wasn’t the case. Maybe he hadn’t considered organ donation, many people don’t. Maybe it was an easy decision for his family to make, or maybe it wasn’t. But they did.
Organs that can be donated for transplantation include kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, small bowel and pancreas. Tissues that can be donated include eyes, heart valves, bone, skin, veins and tendons. It’s amazing to think how many people besides my dad might still be alive today because of this family’s decision to donate their loved ones organs.
So to our donor family- THANK YOU, your decision 9 years ago has positively impacted the life of my family and many others. You are brave to have done it, and I can tell you that we will always pay the gift forward. His liver is in great hands, and is in a body that doesn’t ever stop giving, and helping others.
You can read about Dan’s transplant journey on Dan’s Liver Blog, “as the Liver Turns.” He is up to all kinds of stuff these days, including launching the the Kidney Champion Program at Northwestern with me!
Some food for thought today……. 95% of Americans believe in organ donation, but only 58% are signed up to be organ donors. If when you die, you would like your organs to be donated, you should do 3 things.
- Sign up on the National Registry here
- Make sure your driver’s license indicates you are a donor
- Be sure to let your family know you have registered, so they can support your wishes and not have to wonder what you would want them to do in a critical situation
Feeling lucky and grateful for my family today and very appreciative of our donor family. Happy Transplantaversary dad!