Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Given the week that's in it, I thought it might be useful to look at the statistics behind the gift of an organ.
Last year 81 families in Ireland were visited by unspeakable grief with the loss of a loved one. When death came calling, in the throes of their pain, they thought of others; and agreed to organ donation.
Because of their ultimate gift, there are now 136 people leading happy healthy lives with new kidneys, 12 of them also received a pancreas, 58 are thriving with new livers, 4 are celebrating life with new hearts, and 4 are filling their new lungs with great gulps of fresh air. That makes over 202 people, who's lives were saved by 214 donated organs. A further 10 living donors courageously made the gift of a kidney to a family member or loved one. All told that's 212 families who were given a second chance.
I know all about second chances. Our second chance means that we no longer get up at 4.30 am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to go to Dublin for Dialysis. Our second chance means that we can go on our first ever family holiday. Our second chance means our family doesn't have to be separated by frequent long hospital admissions. Our second chance means that Rory can pee!
While I know a lot about second chances, I also know about loss. On the 13th of July 1988 my sister was mowed down by a drunken driver. We would have liked to have donated her organs but she was killed on impact. It would have helped the chaos of my grief, if her death could have saved a life.
Please think about carrying a Donor Card, and if you do, please make your wishes known to your nearest and dearest.