Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Organ and Tissue Donation

In December my cousin David, age 39, died suddenly of a very unexpected heart attack.  It has been a journey of grief for all of us in the family and we will long remember his life and celebrate the gift he was to us.  Recently I called his mother and found out that she received a letter from the hospital telling her about all of the recipients of David’s organs and tissue which he donated.  David had put it on his driver’s license that he was willing to be an organ donor and after his death he gave sight to two blind people and a number of people (27) received other organs and tissues.  David’s mother was elated to think how his life continued to live on through these anonymous recipients.  Two of them wrote “thank you” letters to her.  What a cause of rejoicing in the midst of sorrow!

Organ and tissue donation is vitally important for many people who are on waiting lists around the world.  In addition there are donations of blood, platelets and bone marrow that people can give to others as living donors.  People also are able to give one kidney to someone on a waiting list and still live on with one kidney while another will get a chance to live with the donation of their healthy kidney.   A donor does not even need to be a match for the person receiving the kidney as there are ways that multiple donors and recipients can be connected in order that more can be helped.

Recently at a district meeting I met a man who is on a kidney transplant list at Einstein Medical Center.  He is waiting for a kidney and he is praying every day for God to provide.  If anyone would be interested in assisting that person with a kidney donation I can help you be in touch with him.  In addition I urge everyone to consider putting “organ donor” on their government-issued ID or driver’s license and also consider taking the time to give blood and even bone marrow when the opportunities present themselves.  Everything we are: body, soul and spirit is a gift from God for us to be good stewards.  How can you give of yourself in new ways to the glory of God?  The possibilities are endless.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Bishop, for writing on this topic. I am a regular platelet donor, and an all-around general advocate of organ donation. I like to tell people that the box on the Driver's License is merely an indicator to family and to medical personnel that a person has considered organ donation, but no matter what the Driver's License says, it is entirely in the hands of the next-of-kin whether a person's organs or tissue are donated.

    Blessings to you and your family on the death of your cousin.

    Don't take your organs to heaven -- heaven knows we need them here! :)