Organ Donation This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   WhenI was eight years old, my family's lives changed forever. It was early afternoonon a hot summer day when we received the call from my dad. I answered the phoneand all he said was, "Hi Meg, get Mom." By the tone of his voice I knewsomething was up.

My dad had a liver disease called primary sclerosingcholangitis (PSC). Because of the disease's effect on his liver, he was placed ona transplant list for a new liver. As he got closer to the top of the list, hekept a beeper by his side day and night in case they found him a new liver. Therewere some false alarms; he would wake up in the middle of the night to the soundof his beeper and immediately call the hospital, only to have them reassure himthat it was a mistake. I remember waking up during those false alarms andwatching him make the call. Each time we experienced a false alarm our heartsraced with anxiety.

Earlier that summer, my family and I had all gone on arelaxing trip. During that time we laid out our plan for the day the transplantwould take place. My mom, sister, two brothers and I all had our jobs. I felt soimportant when I was assigned the task of collecting board games and decks ofcards to keep us entertained during my dad's estimated eight-hoursurgery.

When that day finally came, we all packed quickly and rushedto the hospital. After a short time, we watched as my dad was wheeled out of hisroom, down the hall and out of sight.

Late that night at the hotel,the phone woke us. My mom talked for a while and then told us that Dad had comethrough fine and was in the Intensive Care Unit.

The next day, we went tothe hospital to see him. There was only one problem: eight-year-olds weren'tallowed in the ICU. Although I wasn't really aware of what went on during mydad's illness, I still wanted to see him. I remember thinking, If Kerry, Davidand Kevin can see him, why can't I? It actually turned out to be for the best,though, because I got the flu a few days later.

Remarkably, my dad was outof the hospital 18 days after his transplant. He might not be here today, ashappy and healthy as he is, if it weren't for the tremendous help and talent ofhis surgeons and the hospital staff, especially the person he calls his"Super Nurse." Most of all, though, my dad is here because of adecision that a family made during their period of sorrow and grief. They werethe ones who allowed my dad to be who he is today by donating their loved one'sorgans.

Organ donation is important; many people die each year waitingfor their name to reach the top of the transplant list. My dad is alive todaybecause of the wonderful gift of life his donor and the donor's family gave him.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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