Essay on Organ Donation

Submitted By cwat1323
Words: 2529
Pages: 11

Perseverance, Hope, and Faith In the United States 79,000 patients are on the transplant waiting list ("Give Life a Second Chance by Becoming an Organ Donor"). Three thousand a month are added to this total. Some people may say that considering the number of people in the United States, that the number is not that high. But if we add family and friends to each patient, the number of individuals affected by these cases increases vastly. Sadly, every day between sixteen and seventeen people die while waiting for a transplant. Again, some people may say not many – but in the average man’s lifetime the death toll of those waiting for organs is 1,980,160 – almost two million people ("Give Life a Second Chance by Becoming an Organ Donor"). This is a tragedy when so many of us could help these people – when so many of us could give the gift of life. Normally, people think that a deceased person can only donate; however, a living person can also donate. In fact, all living people in this country should seriously consider being an organ and tissue donor.
By donating a kidney, a person could completely change another person’s life. Not only would the donor be changing the patient’s life, but that donor would be changing the lives of the patient’s family and friends by saving this person. Some people fear that donating a kidney would negatively affect their lives, but according to Transplant surgeon Segev, “After donating a kidney a person can live exactly the way they lived before donating – a long, healthy, active life with virtually no restrictions at all [sic].” No one knows this better than Cathy Ostry, who ended up on both sides of the transplant story, in February 2001. The story began thirteen years ago when Cathy’s brother David needed a kidney transplant. The whole family was tested to see if they could donate to him, and Cathy matched. A few years later Cathy was diagnosed with focalgleumerial nephritis, the same disease that destroyed her brother’s kidney. When husband Rich Ostry was tested to see if he was a match for Cathy, the results came back that they matched in blood values and that their bloods were not allergic to each other. So with those results the surgery was a go ahead. He saved his wife’s life. Some people may fear that the scar from a kidney donation is going to be huge in size; however, Rich’s surgery called a laparoscopic kidney donation, only left 3 or 4 small cuts, no more than one-inch each, in his belly and side. His surgeon used tiny probes and a camera to do the surgery. Towards the end of the procedure, his doctor will make one of the cuts larger (around 4 inches) to take out the kidney. After the laparoscopic kidney donation, Rich’s kidney became Cathy’s within a few hours. The surgery went great for both Rich and Cathy. Cathy, as do all transplant patients, went on many drugs right away to prevent rejection of the new kidney. Because Rich’s was done laparoscopically, his hospital stay was short. About a week later his wife Cathy was able to come home. Though she ended up with some minor infection, eventually her body accepted the new kidney. Now Cathy and Rich are living a relatively normal life. If the kidney comes from a living donor, the success rate is higher than if the kidney came from a deceased person (cadaver donor). The survival of the transplanted kidney itself is 75% to 85% at one year when it is from a deceased, unrelated donor, as compared to over 90% when the kidney is donated by a living person ("Kidney Transplant Overview"). With new developments in kidney transplant surgeries and the positive outcomes for donors and recipients, more people should be willing to give a kidney to save a life.
With even less risk or scare than donating a kidney, people can donate a portion of their liver. The liver can regenerate itself, however people only have two kidneys, and they cannot grow back. Within a few months of donating a segment of the liver, a person can be back to a normal life; with