A Gift of Love – A Miracle of Life
Don’t think of organ donations as giving up part of yourself to keep a total stranger alive. It’s really a total stranger giving up almost all of themselves to keep part of you alive.
Yesterday I read a love story that has impacted the lives of 6 families ….. 12 people ….. so far. And I suspect that if we had the skills of Sherlock Holmes and had capacity to follow this story through the weeks and months to come, we would be given a glimpse of a true miracle ….. and all because one woman dared to make a sacrifice to a total stranger. And the meaning of this special gift is even more meaningful to me as I know first hand, the effects end stage renal disease can have on an entire family. I watched my mother-in-law suffer through the tortuous years of kidney dialysis 3 times a week because she developed kidney failure, most probably the result of years of trying to bear a child. You see, she conceived and lost multiple infants because her body developed severe high blood pressure as a result of these pregnancies! You will understand the connection, when I tell you about this love story, called “George’s Chain of Life“!
A woman from Florida, Deb, lost her son, George, as the result of a car accident. Her son had agreed to be an organ donor, signing an agreement when he got his driver’s license, but his organs were not able to be harvested because he had succumbed to a massive infection as a result of his injuries. In an attempt to give his loss purpose, Deb agreed to donate one of her healthy kidneys to someone in need. A woman named Rosa, got it. Rosa’s daughter, so grateful for this gift, donated one of her healthy kidneys to Daniel. Daniel’s wife, so grateful, donated one of her healthy kidneys to Carolyn. Carolyn’s husband donated his kidney to Samir. Samir’s sister donated her kidney to Alan. Alan’s wife donated her kidney to Linda. Each person did not know the recipient of their gift until after the transplant, and all of the donors registered their willingness to give this gift via the “Alliance For Paired Donation” (http://www.paireddonation.org/), all in thanks to the stranger who gave their loved one this gift of life!
My mother-in-law was not a candidate for transplantation because of her advanced age, and I, for one, am not a candidate to become a donor because my medical history precludes me from eligibility. However, were my circumstances different, I would be the first one contacting this group, to become a living donor. I do have an organ donor sticker affixed to my driver’s license because I hope that some part of me could benefit someone else should I die unexpectedly and my family is aware of my wishes. As a matter of fact, I am the recipient of another’s generous gift because I require blood and iron infusions periodically because my body can not absorb iron from foods and medicines because of mal-absorption issues. I have a friend who received a bone marrow transplant because of cancer. And I’m betting that nearly every one of us knows of or has heard of someone who needs donations of blood or marrow or organs.
There is a wonderful poem by a man, Robert N. Test, that addresses this and it’s something I want to share with you in hopes you might give some thought to becoming an organ donor or, perhaps, even a living donor!
To Remember Me
The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital; busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped. When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don’t call this my deathbed. Let it be called the bed of life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.
Give my sight to the man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby’s face, or love in the eyes of a woman.
Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.
Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.
Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.
Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.
If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses, and all prejudice against my fellow man.
Give my sins to the devil.
Give my soul to God.
If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.
Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC