One year ago this month, I received a liver transplant that saved my life. It also provided me with the possibility of seeing my children grown and settled in their lives, of knowing grandchildren and growing old with my soul mate.
More than just the heart, liver, and kidneys can be used to help others live. One of my hospital roommates received a double lung transplant; another was awaiting a heart, praying that one would become available before life support on an artificial heart was necessary. One of my doctors is also a pancreas transplant surgeon.
Corneas can be transplanted to give sight, but bones, heart valves, skin and even the small intestine can be transplanted. There are other tissues that can be gifted, too.
Many die while waiting for an organ or tissue donation because donors are not registered or don't let family and physicians know that they want to donate.
But you can help by registering to be a donor and letting your family know of your wishes. Your organ donation could save the lives of seven people, and your tissue donation will enhance the lives of more than 50 people. I am a donor registry member, as are many of my family and friends.
Not everyone feels comfortable with becoming a registry member. You can specify what may and may not be gifted from you Become informed. Information about gifts of donation can be found at:
• Life Connection of Ohio: 800-262-5443 or lifeconnectionofohio.org
I thank God every day someone loved his fellow man enough to register as a donor so that I and others like me and you might live and continue to do God's work. I thank God for my hero!
Paulette Michener Bockert