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Reevaluation Time

Posted by Kayak1ky 
Reevaluation Time
December 27, 2011 04:31PM
I'll keep this as short as possible. A very great friend of mine and former BWA member Chuck (HIPPA won't let me give his last name) received his new heart last night. Chuck just turned 50 last month. He's a very smart, extremely successful man who was cut down literally overnight due to his heart. He spent over a month at UK waiting and ready to go at a moment's notice if and when a donor heart became available. It happened last night and so far, so good.

I'm thinking a lot of Chuck but I find I'm thinking more and more of the generosity of the donor. Of course, we'll never know who the donor was but will always know what a wonderful gift this is. Chuck has a second chance at life and a chance to make a huge contribution for the remainder of his days. Without a donation, this would not have been the case.

Chuck and I talked at length of how his emotions are torn. In order for him to live, somebody else had to die. I guess you have to look at it as the donor was going to die anyway but made a decision to give the gift of potentially returning another person to health. It is like planting an oak seed. You don't plant an oak seed for yourself to sit in the shade of the mature tree. You plant the seed so those who follow you may be able to sit and enjoy the shade of the tree.

As I sit here and type this I am very aware of the driver's license in my wallet, as yet unsigned. I've often thought about it and given it serious consideration but never made the final decision to sign it and make my wishes known. Seeing events as they are happening sure is leaning me to get out the license, talk to the family, and sign up. Plus, think of it this way. If you are in the place where your family is being approached about organ donation, you're chance for recovery to a state that is acceptable are 'purty friggin' slim.' I sure don't want to spend months or more on a respirator with a tube up my butt and boy parts. I'll take good quality of life over bad quantity of life anytime.

I am 57 years young. I've lived a great life and with no regrets. I'm not anywhere even close to writing my final chapters either but I'm thinking that if I wound up in a state that is unacceptable to me, is there the possibility I would be able to pass on a part of me that would give another person a chance at life? Back to that oak seed.

God bless each and every one of you

Dallas
Re: Reevaluation Time
December 27, 2011 05:13PM
Good for you Dallas. Our family has been waiting on an elusive Kidney for eight years now, that's a long time to be on dialysis. The soul does not reside in any special organ. No need to take your parts with you...

http://xkcd.com/659/

_

Hanley Loller


...there were periods when my hands moved
with a speed and skill beyond me and my mind
worked with a cool authority I had never known.
--Frank Pierce, "Bringing Out The Dead"
Tim
Re: Reevaluation Time
December 27, 2011 05:43PM
Hey All I totally agree leave your spare parts behind when your done with them. My exwife donated some of hers, so I've seen the donor side of this situation. Make sure you let your family know your wishes, it can get ugly at donation time. Been there once and I've got no desire to revisit that scenario. Life is a gift, pass it on! smiling smiley tim m
Re: Reevaluation Time
December 27, 2011 09:09PM
You don't have to be deceased to donate a kidney, bone marrow, liver, lung and pancreas. I'm not sure what the procedure is but you can get tissue typed and possibly matched with someone in need. You can even donate to a specific person. One of my clients donated a kidney to his best friend and saved his life, what an amazing gift!

Ali

Kayak > Prozac
Re: Reevaluation Time
December 28, 2011 09:43AM
I'm so glad to hear that Chuck finally got what he needed and is doing well and no person deserved it more than he did. Chuck was an EXTREMELY health conscious individual who went to great lengths to ensure he was in tip top condition!! This heart thing was pretty much a fluke beyond his control.

What a miracle organ donation is.
Re: Reevaluation Time
January 01, 2012 09:31AM
I've had the back of my DL signed for years...you can't take your organs with you so recycling them is the best option.

As a P.S.....HIPAA only takes affect if you are caring for the patient at your hospital. If he is a friend, but you happen to be a healthcare provider, and you have all this information you can still share it with friends. You just can't share information that you are privy to as a result of your healthcare employment

Linda Tribble
859-229-4358
Re: Reevaluation Time
January 03, 2012 04:24PM
Awesome story Dallas, and hope that is stays on the up. For anyone considering being a organ donor, know that it is not just the major organs, like hearts, kidneys, etc. I was the recipient of a donor cornea that came from a donor. After having a nasty bug in my eye called acaenthomeba, almost losing my vision permanently, and going through over a year of extreme pain and discomfort, I now, two years later, and totally healed... yes I still have 13 stiches in my eye, but can see better than ever.
Being a donor doesn't mean just giving up your heart, but giving hope to someone else.
Nathan
Re: Reevaluation Time
January 04, 2012 07:38PM
Chuck came home this evening and Amy says all is well. Thanks to all of you who have sent positive remarks and sent positive thoughts and prayers his way. Prayer does work, regardless of what the definition of prayer is and how it fits in your life. Thank you.

So, the followup: I have indeed talked to Sharon and she knows and agrees with me and my wishes. When I don't need it anymore, the ol' bod is a yardsale and the attendant went inside to watch the ballgame. Just take what you want and run. Only one exception, I wanna keep my balls. Guess that is two exceptions. I just don't want to walk into eternity as a eunuch. Orrrrrrr........I'll need something to scratch after waking up after that long sleep, otherwise known as resurrection. You gals might want to think about this next time you are rubbing your eyes when you wake up. Excuse me as I feel my way over to the bench, dragging the boys the whole way.

I've already asked Amy to let me know when I can get a witness signature from Chuck. I need one other witness. Nathan, honor me please. I think these two signatures are very fitting and will remind me that I am doing the right thing.

Dallas
Re: Reevaluation Time
January 05, 2012 06:40PM
Dallas, I'm happier than you can imagine to hear that your friend Chuck (who I do not know) is doing well after his heart transplant. And Nathan, I'm very happy your story also had a happy ending.

I want to thank each and every one of you who has (or will) take the proper steps to make sure your organs will go to needy recipients when you no longer need them. My own son will one day need a heart or heart/lung transplant. We've never just known when that will be and because of this lifelong uncertainty, I am painfully aware of just how relatively few people donate.... especially children's organs. Even if you are in poor health, you can donate your organs to research and help medicine advance in a variety of ways. Please recycle yourselves. Please.

PS - Dallas, I don't think you have to worry about anyone wanting your balls. It's been years or maybe forever since I've heard any South American ball theft tales reported on the news. I don't think they are as hot as a nice pair of Nike's. No, not even yours.

Sandy
Re: Reevaluation Time
January 05, 2012 08:51PM
re: Organ donation: I just celebrated my 25th year on the Bone Marrow Registry. It is easy to get on, but if you have a common blood type (I do) the odds of ever being called are pretty small , believe it or not. The link to the registry is:

[marrow.org]

Here's another idea-donate your entire body to medical research when you die. Body Bequeathal. Maybe the gains from this could make ever needing a donated organ a thing of the past in some cases. Both of my parents did this (I have also completed the necessary paperwork in place to have this done) and it was awesome on many levels; we got an amazing write-up when they were finished with each of them (1-2 years later) describing in very satisfying detail the research that was accomplished with their gift and the gains expected from it; there is no funeral required, so you can skip the expense and dealing with a funeral director; when the research is over they pay for cremation and also have a burial site where they will assume the cost of the burial or returning the ashes to next of kin, and no animals are used in this testing. Hard to say which feature appeals to me most. I just know it felt and still feels like the thing to do. The forms for this are found at:

[www.mc.uky.edu]


You can't take it with you when you die. If you want more information on either program, just private message me...

Cynthia
Re: Reevaluation Time
January 05, 2012 09:08PM
Wow!

Am I ever glad I started this conversation.

I saw Chuck today. What an amazing man. He met me at the door, surgical mask on, just nine days post op. His zipper (surgical scar) looks great, healing well. His site where the pacemaker was removed is also healing nicely. Both he and Amy are in awe of his good fortunes of recent. Thanks to the donation of a sixteen year old female, Chuck has a second chance at a mostly normal life. He is looking forward to someday hugging grandchildren.

I took care of some business with him. I signed my driver's license and Chuck is my first witness. I also went to the website for Kentucky Organ Donation and signed up. Next time I'm at the Elkhorn I'm hunting Nathan down for his. This will give me the perfect reason to paddle on down from Soffley's takeout anyway.

Dallas
Re: Reevaluation Time
January 06, 2012 03:19AM
Unfortunately it's part of my job to have to deal with the recently deceased from time to time. We are required by law to approach the family re: organ donation because no one in rural KY signs their DL or maybe they think they will never die. So when we approach the family we are always rejected. I've been doing this for 11 yrs and only one time did we get a yes. So yes, organ donation saves / changes lives.

Wes
Re: Reevaluation Time
January 06, 2012 09:09AM
Sandy, you've obviously never seen Dallas's balls. Let's just say they don't call them the family jewels for nothing.

So, Chuck now has the heart of a 16 year old girl. Does he have an overwhelming urge to go see the new twilight movie?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

_

Hanley Loller


...there were periods when my hands moved
with a speed and skill beyond me and my mind
worked with a cool authority I had never known.
--Frank Pierce, "Bringing Out The Dead"
Re: Reevaluation Time
February 16, 2012 09:35AM
This post became the inspiration for this month's BWA program. The Education Director for the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliate, Charlotte Wong, was our guest speaker. It was a very informative and entertaining presentation that she gave us. I, like most in the room, thought that signing the back of your driver's license guarranteed that you would be a registered organ donor. That is not the case unfortunately. Charlotte explained that if you are in a accident, the last thing emergency personel are worried about is your driver's license. If you want to be an organ donor, the most certain was is to go to the KODA website and register. I encourage everyone to register.

Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates

Allen
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