April is the official month for Organ Donation Awareness. I never in my life thought I'd know so many people who've had a transplant, or are still in need of one. I guess that's what happens when you're living with an illness where a transplant could possibly be one of the last few resorts to treating the disease. While I have never undergone a transplant evaluation, it may one day be on the table for me if the meds I'm on stop being effective, and other possible meds don't work. When could that be? I'm not sure. It may be several years from now, and it may be never. I sure hope it would be never, but long ago, I did decide that I'd go through with a transplant if I needed one. I figured that God has gotten me this far along in life, I'm sure He'd see me through a life-changing surgery.
In the past 2 months alone, I can count on one hand the people I know who have gone through successful lung transplants. All of them continue to do well. A couple of them got out of the hospital only a couple weeks after surgery, which is just amazing. One of them is still in the hospital, but she's slowly recovering. They are all beyond grateful to the chance at a 2nd life, the chance to continue living their life with the ones they love. And, of course, they are tremendously grateful to the person who decided to be a donor. That person gave the gift of life to someone in need, and it is a wonderful gift to give.
Obviously, having a transplant doesn't not always succeed. Being slapped in the face with Euan's passing during his heart transplant has actually made me wonder if I really would go through with the surgery if I was faced with it one day. Yes, there are risks. There are complications, something could go terribly wrong, as in Euan's case. And yet, there are also successes. To know that a few of my friends are now breathing on their own, and able to do things they once could before illness struck them down, is just beyond amazing. I hope their new lease on life continues for so many more years to come. Having a transplant for me would be like a completely new life. I've never known what it's like to grow up being able to breathe normally without gasping for breathe doing simple tasks. So having new lungs would really be like a rebirth. I don't know, if I'm ever faced with the decision on needing new lungs, I think I will decide to do it, but things could change if I actually am facing it head on.
If you have not considered organ donation, I encourage you to talk about it with your loved ones. There really is no reason good organs should go to waste when someone dies, when they can be used to help another person live longer. It's the most wonderful gift anyone can give. To find out more information, please visit the Organ Donor website.