Every time I interact with people involved in organ donation, my heart is touched.
Yesterday I participated in the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Walk at Lake Pflugerville. Waiting for the walk to start I sat down next to a couple of ladies. One was the wife of a man who needs a second kidney transplant. His first kidney transplant was 10 years ago! How wonderful is that?! We talked about her children and grandchildren, about how support for transplant has changed over the years, and about being the caregiver.
What struck me most about her though was her comment that her husband was shy about talking about his need for transplant. I shared with her that the friend whom I was supporting on the walk, who also needs a second kidney transplant, is also very shy about discussing it. In fact, we didn’t even introduce these two men to each other. Many people in need of transplant and/or transplant recipients have a feeling of guilt. TRIO is a good resource for assistance with these feelings.
I remember talking about this with an OPO professional once. He said, “You are not wishing for someone to die. You are praying and wishing that IF someone dies who could be a donor, that his/her family will say YES to organ donation.”
Last week I “met” Josh Canal who needed a second heart transplant. I discovered his story when I was analyzing twitter accounts. I follow Josh on twitter. I found him because he had a heart transplant and is followed by other organ donor advocates.
He had very high tweet volume (4,056 to be exact). But I noticed they had stopped after September 29 last year. His twitter profile listed a Caring Bridge website. And there I discovered that Josh passed away October 2, 2011. And Josh donated his organs. I found blog posts about Josh (I hope you will read it!) Josh was born with Hypoplastic Heart Syndrome. He was transplanted at age 17. He became an EMT. He married. And clearly his positive outlook on life inspired others.
I interact with people
involved in organ donation,
my heart is touched.