Saturday, August 16, 2008

Donate Organs

Our friends have a baby a few months younger than Aiden. He needs a liver transplant. His mom just made a post on his blog called "A Mother's Plea." READ IT!
We all need to donate our organs! Let your family know that you want to donate your organs. If you don't want to donate, don't tell anybody and maybe they will accidentally get donated, you selfish poop.
Everybody, I want to donate my organs (except skin and eyes). Now you know.

I'm just going to copy it here since somebody might be to lazy to click on the link above. You can still check it out though. Read about the bravest and strongest little dude I know.

Our prayers are with you Beth, Andre & Gavin

"Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Mother's Plea

Gavin has been hospitilized seven times in his short 10 months of life. He has gone through three surgeries. He has been in the ICU twice. We've had to race him to the E.R. in the middle of the night three times (why does it always happen at night?!). He already has 5 different scars on his small body.

The worst part is…this isn’t the worst. What we’ve gone through is only the tip of the iceburg. Some other families going through liver disease and transplant with their little ones have been through so much more. Shunts, draining, permanent hospitlization until transplant, extreme bleeding, banding...and that is all before a transplant is done. Afterwards there are worse possibilities. Our little man has a very long journey ahead of him, and I get weak just thinking about it. No child should have to suffer this way.

Why can’t they just transplant him now, while he is still relatively healthy? Why has he had to wait so long? Simply- there are not enough organ donors. I know a few children who have waited YEARS and still aren't transplanted. The sad, but harsh truth is that most of these little children must wait and wait and wait until they are knocking on death’s door before they will ever be transplanted. At Gavin's transplant center alone there are over 50 children waiting for a liver transplant right now. And they’ve only been able to do a handful of transplants so far this year. How many of those children left will make it to next year? How many more will be added to the list?

I understand fully why some chose not to be organ donors. I wasn’t one before all of this happened with my son. I admit, even as I signed up afterwards, I cringed. People don’t like to think about their death. They don't like to think about their bodies being excavated. But think about this way…most likely all of us will die “naturally” while we are old and wrinkly. So we wouldn’t be viable to donate our organs anyway. The very, very small chance that you would die young and healthy, and in such a way that you would be at the hospital in a position for them to even consider using your organs is so very small. Most likely it won’t happen.

But if it did…if there was some tragedy, there could be some small measure of comfort for your loved ones, knowing that life will go on for others. Almost every single religion out there, including the LDS faith (Mormons), is okay with organ donation. And in my opinion, people of our faith have an even bigger responsibility to be an organ donor, since most of us have never drank a drop of alcohol, never smoked, never tried drugs, never drank coffee. You can also choose which organs you are comfortable donating if you register through And despite the sensational myths that get passed around…no doctor would even KNOW that you are an organ donor when you were brought into the ER for him to save your life. But if you are really that worried about it, don’t sign up through the DMV, so it wont be on your driver's license.

Or hey, if the idea of actually being a registered donor just freaks you out (and I do get that) then at least talk to your family about it. You can say, “if something were to happen, and the doctors are saying there is no hope, this might be something I would want to do.” And not that its any thing a parent wants to think about at ALL, but if you ever find yourself in this position with a child, watch this video, and hopefully you will at least think twice about it. Obviously baby donor organs are extremely scarce...thankfully for us, they can do split liver transplants where they take a portion of an adult liver so there is at least a better chance for Gavin and other children waiting for liver transplants. Parents of children waiting for different organs aren't that lucky.

One time while we were at the hospital, a mom came up to us to play with Gavin while we were waiting for the elevator. She tearfully (through a smile) told us she was taking her daughter home that day…on hospice, but that they were hoping to donate her organs “when the time came”. All I could do was cry with her and thank her for being so selfless.

But don't just assume that you wouldn't be a viable donor because of age or health or whatever. If the time came, the doctors can decide. At least give them a chance...give someone waiting a second chance at life. Give someone a miracle. Give a family hope and a new beginning. Why take these organs to the grave? They do no one any good there.

Why would I need to take my corneas with me, when they can give sight to two people who are blind? To give them the gift of being able to see the face of their child for the first time, or to see a sunrise over the mountains? Why would I need my heart when it could go on beating for someone else...a mother, a grandfather, a teenager? Why would I need my lungs when they could give the breath of life to someone else?

God gave humankind the ability to perform these surgeries. Each one is a MIRACLE. To take an organ from someone's body and place it in someone else's is amazing!!! If you want to see them being done, watch the documentary series "Hopkins" on ABC. Its one of the leading transplant centers in the US. You can watch all 6 parts of the series at, click: The stories are will be addicted to the show once you start watching. I cried through them all.

If only .03% of the entire US population became organ donors, every man, woman, teenager, child and baby waiting on the entire list could be transplanted. That’s less than a third of 1%. Right now there are over 90,000 people waiting for an organ transplant, 16,000 for livers- 626 of them children. In a country of over 300 million people, these children must wait months, even years, while their condition worsens, and some even die.

I try to ignore these thoughts screaming from every corner of my mind as I speak to people in my daily life about Gavin's story. But you know what? I am scared that I am going to have to watch my baby’s body deteriorate. I am terrified that he may not last the wait, that his poor little body will be so ravaged by the time he gets to the top of the list, that he won’t be able to pull through the transplant. I am sick at the thought that I might have to explain to his older brother and sister why their baby brother won’t ever be coming home. I hate seeing him in pain. I hate the constant needles and hospital stays and medications and tubes and fears and having every molecule in my body trembling 24/7, and breaking down in tears at least once a day. I am exhausted.

And as scared as I am for what may come after his transplant, at least I know that with it he will have a fighting chance at life...because without a transplant he will die. He has so much strength and so much more living to do here on the Earth. I need him like the air I breathe. He is my sun, moon, and whole life. And every other parent with a child waiting on the list feels the same way about their own child. We all need this gift of life...the gift to raise our children, to see them without tubes and wires, to see them healthy and happy.

And so many others feel the same way about their mother or father who is waiting for an organ transplant. These children need their parents. Husbands need their wives, wives need their husbands. Families should not be broken apart like this when MIRACLES can happen. How many diseases are there where there is NO hope? No solution? No cure? To have people die while waiting, when they could have been saved but for others' selflessness is unacceptable in my book. We have the knowledge, the expertise to fix this...the doctors just need the organs to do it. If there is any way to save a life, it SHOULD be done. "Don't take your organs to heaven...heaven knows we need them here."

I know nothing I say can ever fully explain it…I wish I could crawl into your hearts and minds and show you, let you feel it. Maybe it won’t change anyone’s mind, but at least it will make you think twice. I just had to speak my mind- for him, for all of them.

If you are interested in more information on organ donation, you can go to the sites listed below, and click on the links at the bottom of the righthand column of this page, labled "News and Articles". Please take some time to discuss it with your loved ones tonight. Don't let misinformation or lack of information keep you from giving life. At least take the time to learn about it and find the truth. And if you read all of this...thank you.

official waiting list:

register online:

1 comment:

Bohn Family said...

I have always been on the donor list - holy smokes I can't believe only 3% of people are. It only makes since. Anyways check out Then go down & read THE GIFT OF LIFE.

This mom tells the story about her little girl dying at Primary Childrens and having to go down the hall with her little girl on life support and hand over her angel still alive so they could use her organs. I cried so hard reading this. She is so amazing! I never thought about what it would actually be like to be on the other side of things handing over your child alive, knowing & accepting the fact that you couldn't save them & giving someone else their organs. Amazing. It is such an act of love. You can not give a more precious gift. - geri