• Pak H Chau

Sign Up as An Organ Donor



Today’s topic is something morbid, something that is not normally discussed because it makes a lot of people uncomfortable - death.


But since “Small Wins” is all about “doing good”, here’s a tip as to how you can still do something good even at the point of death:


Donate your organs.


At that point, you might be at the end of your life but that shouldn’t stop you from lengthening others’ lives, from improving the quality of their lives.


Quite frankly, there is no better way to die.


Interested to find out which organs are needed most in the world?


The Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation ranks them as follows:

  1. Kidneys

  2. Liver

  3. Heart

  4. Lungs

  5. Pancreas

  6. Intestine


Then of course, there are the tissues that you can also donate like: corneas, skin, heart valves, blood vessels, musculoskeletal tissues, placenta / amniotic membranes, adipose, parathyroid, autologous craniectomy pieces, other tissues, and stem cells.


Just think –


With your kidneys, you can grant - not just one - but two end stage renal disease patients freedom from dialysis.


With your liver, you can save a person from cirrhosis or hepatitis.


With your corneas, you can help somebody see the world like you did.


With your skin, you can help restore the confidence and dignity of a burn victim.

See how powerful organ donation is?


To enable another person’s heart to beat again, or another’s lungs to breathe again – I cannot think of a nobler act.


Donating your organs, after all, is an act of love. And in life, this is the one thing we are called to do – no more, no less. Just ask the families of patients who were granted a second lease at life because of organ donation.


Now there are two important things that you must do to ensure that your plan to donate your organs are carried out:


  1. Register to be an organ donor. Check how this goes in your country especially in terms of legislation (opt in versus opt out) because it varies from one country to another.

  2. Tell your family or next-of-kin that you wish to donate your organs after your death. Since they will obviously be the ones to decide once you are no longer able to. Include it in your will perhaps?


Why donate your organs?


There is a worldwide shortage of organs for transplantation because the gap between registered donors and patients who are candidates for transplantation is simply too wide. In the US alone, there are 113,439 waitlisted candidates to-date while the donors recovered from January to April of this year only amounted to 6,080.* Clearly, there is a gap.




What does this mean?


Sadly, many people on the organ waiting list will die before one ever becomes available.


But for the families of those who have donated and received organs, the experience has been life-changing. For the families of donors most especially, the fact that parts of their loved ones continue to live on in other people has provided comfort in their time of grief.


To be able to save a life even after you die? I cannot think of greater superpowers than that.



*References:

https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/data/

https://transplantliving.org/before-the-transplant/diseases/

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© 2019 | By Pak H Chau