1 organ donor can save 8 lives

I had a fascinating phone call with an SEIU Healthcare member who was part of the first Ontario team to set up a program to train RPNs to perform eye enucleations—that is, harvest parts of the eye from a dead individual who has chosen to donate them.

In just one year the pilot program has led to over 30 people regaining sight. I was reminded about how important organ donation is. In fact I borrowed Service Ontario’s statement for the title of this post: 1 organ donor can save 8 lives.

Most people don’t like to think about worst-case scenarios, but if you don’t do it, someone else could make the wrong decision for you. You can register to be an organ donor online.

I’m not even trying to be even-handed on this issue. I believe there is one way to go and that’s to donate your organs to others if needed when you die. It’s a tragedy that not only do some die too soon all of a sudden, but also others pass away while they wait for transplants.

Mother Hears Heartbeat of Her 16-year-old Dead Son

This video shows the overwhelming emotion involved for a family member whose loved one has donated their organs. The donor has died, but their death was not in vain. His dying literally saved someone else. This woman gets to hear her son’s beating heart again, and she knows the good he continues to do in the world because of his decision.

A similar scenario helped me think about organ donation for the first time when I was in high school. A 15-year-old girl from the same school died in a terrible car accident. Months later, I saw a newspaper article taped to her locker. It was an article written by her parents, advocating for organ donation and explaining that their daughter Melanie’s organs had saved several lives. I am glad they found purpose in this worthy cause and hope people continue to sign up.

G.W.

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