Giving the gift of hope and life through an organ transplant is both precious and powerful.
Marc and Monica Dulebohn reminded us of that in a story published this week in The Lima News.
Hope of a life-saving miracle ended for their son, Drew, nearly 24 hours after a tragic vehicular accident in mid-August. Up until that time, the life support system that was keeping the 15-year-old Elida boy alive was registering brain activity.
Then it stopped.
At that heart-breaking moment, Marc and Monica closed the doors to their son’s hospital room. Alone with him, they decided to have his organs donated. With that decision came eight miracles. The family learned last week that six lives were saved with the heart, kidneys, lung, liver and pancreas transplants. Two other lives were enhanced with cornea transplants.
Providing someone a second chance at life is a noble gift that most of us support, including nearly all organized religions. Yet, far too few people have actually joined a registry or discussed the topic of donation with their families.
That’s a tragedy in itself as it has led to a tremendous shortage of organs and tissues.
An average of 22 people nationwide die each day while waiting for the organ that would have extended their lives, reports the LifeCenter Organ Donor Network at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Even more sobering is the organ shortages come at a time when there is a high success rate of transplant operations. These include:
•95 percent for kidney recipients.
•85 percent for liver and heart recipients.
•75 percent for lung recipients.
Information about registering to be a donor is available through local hospitals.
People of all ages, races, and ethnicities are needed. Organs are not matched by race/ethnicity and people of different races frequently match one another. But there is a better chance of receiving an organ if there are large numbers of donors from the same racial/ethnic background to pull from because compatible blood types and tissue markers are more likely to be found.
While you’ve been reading this, chances are another name has been added to the national waiting list of people waiting to receive a kidney, part of a liver, lung, or other organs. A name is added every 10 minutes.
In Ohio, more than 3,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant, and hundreds more await tissue transplants.
We urge people to become an organ donor. Just make sure your family and loved ones know of your wishes. It can be a great comfort to them, plus it helps ensure your choice is carried out.
— The Lima News