Here’s why it’s important to become an organ donor

Some myths about organ donation need to be dispelled

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by Lara Govendo |

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I am a strong advocate for organ donation because I was on the receiving end of a double-lung transplant in 2017. Not only did it save my life, but it also radically transformed my health in many ways.

Since then, I believe it’s imperative to clear up some misconceptions about organ donation in order to encourage everyone to sign up to be an organ donor.

Becoming a donor doesn’t mean that you sacrifice your own life to save someone else’s. That would be barbaric and inhumane. I hear this comment often when I share my story, and it makes me cringe with horror.

To be considered as a donor, you must be deemed medically brain-dead. That means machines are keeping you alive, and without them, you would die.

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Hospital staff doesn’t know you’re an organ donor. Organ donation coordinators are the only personnel who know your donation status, and this information is kept under lock and key.

When you have surgery, have an accident, or endure any other kind of life-threatening traumatic event, medical professionals will do everything they can to save your life. The conversation with your loved ones about donating your organs will happen only if medical professionals declare you brain-dead.

Those who are waiting for transplants are not prioritized over you. I’ve spoken with people who are hesitant to sign up to be a donor because they think patients in need of transplants are more important than their own lives. I assure you that medical providers will never let you die so that those on the waiting list will live.

The circumstances in which one can be an organ donor are specific. A potential donor must experience a traumatic event in order to donate their organs. Those who die of natural causes, at home in hospice care, or of illnesses are not considered candidates.

In order to donate your organs, you must sign up. Additionally, your loved ones must know your wishes because they will have the final say.

Statistics show that many patients need lifesaving transplantations, and there are more of them than there are donors. That’s why it’s so important for everyone to sign up to potentially save lives.

Organ donation is an incredible gift. It can save someone’s life. It’s also a chance to continue your legacy and live on through others whose lives you’ve saved.

In that dire moment of life and death, it occurred to me that organ donation is truly a miracle. Because a stranger said yes to organ donation, my life continued. I’m grateful every day that my life wasn’t cut short due to cystic fibrosis (CF). Breathing strongly with new lungs has afforded me the opportunity to achieve my dreams and embark on adventures in ways that weren’t possible with CF lungs.

Organ donation translates one person’s tragic situation into someone else’s story of triumph over death. It’s a beautiful illustration of how all of humanity is truly connected. I hope you consider spreading the truth about organ donation and the powerful opportunity to save a life.

Note: Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cystic Fibrosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cystic fibrosis.


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