Please read Moreena's post about organ donation today. She writes:
Remember Jackson? I mentioned him in this post. (And I was wrong about his parents not having a webpage. Here it is.) Last month his mother donated a portion of her liver to him, but unfortunately he contracted a serious fungal infection in the hospital that is quickly destroying his new liver. As of his mom's last update, the doctors only give him a 10% chance of survival without a new liver, and soon.
I'm not sure what's going on right now, but I know that there have been an awful lot of very sick children that are dying still waiting for donated organs.
Moreena goes on to make a passionate plea for people to consider signing up to be organ donors. I strongly encourage you to read up on this matter and give it your serious consideration. For Catholics who may be uncertain about the Church's position on organ donation, here is what the CCC says:
2296 Organ transplants are in conformity with the moral law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks to the donor are proportionate to the good that is sought for the recipient. Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorous act and is to be encouraged as an expression of generous solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or his proxy has not given explicit consent. Moreover, it is not morally admissible directly to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons.
My Jane is alive today because people donated their blood. (She had fifteen blood transfusions, including two complete blood exchanges, as well as so many platelet transfusions that I lost count.) She did not need a bone marrow transplant, thank God, which is a very good thing because when our hospital ran a check in the national bone marrow registry, they only came up with a single preliminary match. A very small percentage of preliminary matches turns out to be an actual match. She had no siblings at the time and was not a good candidate for an autologous transplant (a procedure in which the patient's own bone marrow is extracted and cleaned of cancerous cells, then used for the transplant).
Bone marrow, like blood, is donated by living people. Even so, the marrow registry suffers a continual shortage of donors. Is that because people are hesitant to get involved, or because most folks just don't think about it? I'm guessing the latter. And I think that goes even more for organ donation, because in order to make a decision about that, you have to contemplate your own death. None of us wants to do that.
Life is busy, and so often issues like this just whisk past us like signposts outside a car window. You catch a glimpse as you zoom past, and you think about how someday you really intend to come back and read that sign, visit that landmark. Should I stop now? No, the baby's asleep in the backseat, and anyway, we've got to get moving if we're going to get to the next hotel before dark.
Today, Moreena is asking all of us to pull over to the side of the road and read that signpost. If you haven't indicated to your loved ones that you want to be an organ donor after your death, please consider doing so.
You may be choosing life for a child like Jackson.
For more information, visit shareyourlife.org.