Have a Heart, Give a Heart

June 11, 2009
By Ella Cobleigh BRONZE, Ardsley, New York
Ella Cobleigh BRONZE, Ardsley, New York
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Most children’s faces light up when a parent brings them a new toy. However, when a child is on a hospital bed with tubes sticking out of their noses and arms because of a failed kidney, all they want to see is that shiny white cooler with a new organ inside. However, without that cooler, the child will never experience what it is like to be a kid. There are 300,000,000 people in the United States. There are over 100,000 people who need an organ transplant. A lot more than 100,000 Americans die each year. But, why did only about 15,000 organ transplants take place? That child in the hospital bed would probably die within three or four years if he were never given an organ. (www.donatelifeny.org). Although I respect views of others, organ donation should be encouraged during and after one’s lifetime.

Many people do not know that one donor can save up to 8 lives by donating their organs (www.donatelife.org/faq/). By donating, your memory would be cherished in not only your family’s minds and hearts forever but the recipient’s as well. Could you imagine being the one person who saves not only the lives of eight people but eight families from grief? Your legacy would be extremely powerful. Your family would be proud. You could move on into the other life (or whatever you believe happens after death) peacefully, knowing that you had a purpose in the world.

Even though donating is such a munificent act, many people decide not to because they are scared of the surgery. People believe that the moment you are pronounced dead in the hospital, doctors will throw you onto the surgery bed and rip your organs out like wild animals. (Miss Faith, The Organ Donation Controversy). Time is of the essence after a donor dies but only because some organs, such as the heart, are only good for five minutes after death. However, this should not stop one from donating organs. Doctors are trained and paid to take such a surgery liberally and safely so that all the organs are in good condition.

As mentioned before, if you decide to donate organs, you can save up to eight lives. However, that still leaves 101,904 people on the list (as of June 8, 2009, 101,912 people are waiting for an organ transplant) (www.unos.org). In 2008, there were only 14,199 donors (http://www.donatelifeny.org). A lot more than 101,912 people die each year in America. So, why do only 14,199 people get saved? If the brave soldiers out in Iraq were in dire need of supplies, many Americans would be more than happy to pay higher taxes to get them more supplies. The government may even help fund it! There would be rallies, charity walks, you name it! They wouldn’t just let the troops out there die. Right? So, if Americans would be so willing to donate money to get supplies, then why are so many American’s unwilling to donate organs after they die?
Saving lives is quite simple. You do not have to fill out long forms or go through multiple tests at the doctor’s office to donate. All you have to do is tell loved ones that you wish to be a donor. You can also sign a donor card or, when getting or updating your license, simply check the box that asks if you would like to be a donor. New ways of signing people up to be donors could be possible. Maybe, Apple will come up with an app for the iPhone or iTouch to sign you up. Or, an easy access Internet site can allow people to sign up. Therefore, when pronounced dead in the hospital, a doctor or nurse can just look the donor up online. Facebook, the worldwide Internet phenomenon, has multiple groups that discuss and give information on organ donation. These groups unite, support and help out organ donors or people waiting for a donor. 98% of American adults know about organ donation, with only a click tap or mouse away, why are there so many people unwilling to research further and see how important donating is?
With these potential new methods, more people may sign up to be donors and black market selling of organs may decrease. Many people get sick of waiting on the transplant list. Some people have to wait for years! Due to the lack of donors, some people, when they are so ill and cannot wait any longer, turn to the black market. According to a 2004 issue of The New York Times black market selling of organs is on the rise (Rohter, New York Times, 5/23/04). In the issue, a woman from Brooklyn illegally bought a kidney from a fellow New Yorker, Alberty José da Silva. She was so terminally ill, that she and her husband found it to be the only way. Although unethical, it seems reasonable. However, the incident would have never happened if more people were willing to donate organs.

In a legal organ transplant, Donald Arthur got a “second chance at life.” Donald, a recipient from New York believes that with his new heart he could do anything. In 1989, he was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy, a disease where the heart is enlarged. Donald was facing constant fatigue and breathlessness. In early 1996, he was told that if he did not get a transplant within six months, he would die. But, “by the grace of god”, on August 2, 1996, he received a heart. After the successful transplant, Donald was able to run the New York City Marathon. He did this without being extremely tired or out of breath. Donald now speaks at high schools and speaks about “Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness.” Thanks to his donor, Donald is able to encourage others to donate. His efforts may help save lives in the future. (www.donatelifeny.org).
Imagine if you could be like Donald Arthur’s donor and save a family from this loss. Imagine if you could save your family from this loss. Imagine if you were saved from such a terrible fate. Imagine if you could be a hero.

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This article has 2 comments.

WildRiverJoy said...
on Jun. 25 2009 at 12:59 am
This is an extremely helpful and thoughtful article. For many years I had checked organ donor on my driver's license, and then stopped. I am going to rethink my decision.

g9k13k95 said...
on Jun. 24 2009 at 11:41 pm
this is very interesting. it made me realize the importance of donating organs. great job ella!

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