Eight years ago tonight, my son Asher became an organ donor. When we were given the horrifying news that he would not survive his injury, my immediate response was "Is he a candidate for organ donation?" I was able to ask that question with ease because my decision about organ donation had been made long ago. Having spent several years working at the local hospital I had more than once been a link in the chain of events that happen when a person is about to become an organ donor. Bearing witness to the solemn process was incredibly sobering. It didn’t take long for me to declare myself an organ donor for no other reason than it’s just the right thing to do. Did you know only 1% of people who die every day are eligible for organ donation? It is the rarest gift you can give a person!
I just recently learned about a new tradition that has taken root where hospital staff, family and friends of the organ donor line the halls of the hospital following the path to the operating room. Known as the “Honor Walk", it offers an opportunity to recognize the life and gifts of the donor while paying gratitude to the donor family and acknowledging their loss. I hope I never have reason to participate in one but I love that donors and their families are being treated as heroes <3
I really don't consider myself a hero for doing the right thing, but I do understand why our recipient family considers Asher and I their heroes- I'm sure I would feel the same way if I was in their shoes. Tomorrow marks eight years since Mario underwent the surgery to receive Asher's kidney- the kidney that has both allowed Mario to continue his life and saved his family from the horrible fate of grieving his loss. How could I possibly have kept Asher's kidney from them?
For more information about how to sign up to be an organ donor here.