Transplants. Well here's a topic I actually can say I personally know a little about. No, I've never had a transplant. I would like to think I could donate all the fat I have to someone who needs more fat, but I've never had a transplant. That being said, both my parents have had transplants.
Daddy received a liver on July 1, 1991. Ravaged from Heph B, contracted via a blood transfusion, Daddy was given the gift of life on a summer day in July. U.C.L.A. did one helluva a job. He had been on the list for some time, and even received the famous beeper page, only to be turned around when a little girl, even more critical, was bumped to the top spot of a very long list. Daddy could have been upset, but he was the type of person who would have gladly stepped aside, especially for a sick child. Daddy was no spring chicken when he received his new liver. Well into his 60's at the time and extremely ill, the new liver came just in time. It gave us 5 more years with Daddy. Oh, how I wish we could have been given 20! TIME MAGAZINE - THE GIFT OF LIFE - June 17, 1991. PLEASE take the time to read this article, which mentions the very scenario of my Dad's case, although no names are mentioned, the Dr mentioned from UCLA was my Daddy's surgeon.
Mom received a kidney in April 2008. She was lucky. She did not have to wait long, as my youngest brother donated one of his. If Mom suddenly becomes a world class soccer goalie, we will know why. However, the transplant was a good one. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN runs a great program, and Mom and baby brother recovered nicely, without complications, and our family is blessed to still have them in our lives. Mom was in her early 70s when she received her kidney. For those of you doing the math, she was OLDER than Dick Cheney is today, with his new ticker.
Age is not a relevant factor in deciding who gets transplants, and who doesn't. News this week was how SOME people thought old Mr. V.P. was simply TOO OLD. I exclaim, "Really? Are you that anti Republican, or anti Dick Cheney, that pointing a finger at a organ recipient is all you have going?"
UNOS - www.unos.org. I recommend that those who have the audacity (ooooh, one of the POTUS' favorite words) to pontificate that Mr. Cheney is far too old to receive a new heart, or in some crazy way, received preferential treatment in order to procure a heart, take the time to click on the UNOS website and educate yourself! Transplants are not that easy. It's definitely not a catalog, like Macy's or Sears. There is no rush on getting a new heart, liver, kidney, skin, corneas, etc. Beside blood matching, there is tissue typing, extensive health exams, compatibility and viability issues surrounding the recipient. And lets not forget that at this time there are well over 100,000+ on the waiting list for transplants; sadly, a number which changes daily. Such numbers change because the patients on the waiting list die, or, on a much more happy note, receive an organ from a friend or family member.
Currently, we live in a country where there seems to be no compassion for the sick and suffering. I find it almost beyond reprehensible that there are dense folks out there that would stoop to claiming that Mr. Cheney in some way received some sort of "schwag" due to the fact that he is a retired V.P. Organ transplantation simply does not work that way. I say speedy recovery to you Mr. Cheney. Tick- tock, tick-tock.
Organ transplant is a way to give the Gift of Life to someone else. A dear friend of mine, Cody St. John was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident a few years ago. He was a ski patroller with Steamboat Springs Ski Patrol in Colorado. He was a kind and generous human being who thought of everyone, all the time. Cody, vis-a-vis his family, made the difficult choice to donate his organs to UNOS. A heart, lungs, pancreas, kidneys, skin, corneas... and let me tell you something - there are some very, very grateful recipients out there today because Cody made that decision. www.whatwouldcodydo.com - go the website and read about Cody. He was simply awesome!
Families need to sit down and discuss this matter. Make your intentions known to your loved ones. Let them know that you wish to donate your organs. Sadly, when most families are faced with this heart wrenching decision, its in the emergency room of a a hospital, with emotions running high. I thank God that a family made one of the most difficult decisions of their lives and donated their loved one's liver so that my dear Daddy could be with us for 5 additional years.
Yes, I would be on the same thought pattern if Barry Obama needed a new heart. Oh wait, does he have one? Oh yes, its a bleeding heart. Barry needs a brain. Alas, such transplants aren't being performed yet. But Barry would be lucky to receive a new brain. Make that a Republican Brain.