Posted on February 14th, 2012 by Zane Cagle
As couples exchange gifts and pleasantries to show their affection on this Valentine’s Day, there is an even more important gift to be given – the gift of life. February 14 is National Donor Day, promoting awareness of the benefits of organ donation. If you have not signed up to be part of this important program, please take a moment today to fill out the organ donor form available online.
Currently, there are 112,972 people waiting for an organ in the United States, with a new person added every 10 minutes. As the need for these organs climbs, more people need to be added to the directory to keep up with demand. It is just a sad fact that many of these people will die while on the list for an organ donation, waiting for an organ that will never come. In fact, 18 people die every day in just that scenario. Because just one donor can save up to 8 lives, it is apparent how important it is for each person to volunteer for this vital service.
The stories of organ donation are often heartbreaking stories with a happy ending. For instance, there is the story of the seven year old who died of an extreme asthma attack. Because this child had shown a love for helping others, her parents felt she would have wanted them to donate her organs to help those in need. There is also the story of the 53 year old woman who died of a sudden brain aneurism. Her family decided to donate her organs, and in doing so helped 8 people: her kidneys, liver, and heart gave four people a new chance at life, and her eyes allowed four people to have cornea and sclera transplants. In each case, while the family was undergoing the extreme sadness of the loss of a loved one, they could take comfort in knowing that their lives touched so many people in such a positive way.
With such positive stories of people giving life even after death, it makes sense for everyone to sign up for the organ donor registry. Some may not do so because of religious reasons, and that is understandable. But for those without a religious restriction, there is simply no excuse for letting organs go to waste. Certain medical conditions (for example: HIV, active cancer, or systemic infection) will prevent a person from donating, but other than that, really anyone is eligible. Even if a person is older, they may still have organs in good enough shape that they can benefit others. In fact, the oldest donor on record was just shy of his 93rd birthday when he donated his liver. If you have healthy organs, regardless of age, a doctor will be able to find a use for them in someone with a chronic disease.
Zane T. Cagle and the Missouri personal injury attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm deal with many serious car accidents. We have had clients who have suffered serious injuries to vital organs and survived through the generosity of others. We have also represented those who have died in the course of an accident, and seen how families grieving is lessened in knowing they were able to help others. We encourage everyone who is able to take a little time and add themselves to the donor registry. On this day celebrating love, there is no greater love you can show a person than selflessly helping a person in need.