Thursday, March 01, 2007

Facts, figures and the future

My 9 year old is home sick (as if you all didn't know from yesterdays post) and he had his head on my shoulder reading my replies to some email coming in from the blog posts.

He asked "Why do I have to be 18 to donate my organs?
I replied "You don't have to be 18, you are already an organ donor because you told me you wanted to be a donor."

We then went on to discuss what would happen if he was in an accident, or died before he was 18. Because his mom and I know he (and his sister) want to be donors, we will honor their wishes. From that, it would allow another child or several children (or even some adults) to be able to live through his (their) gift.

He responded to the effect that he was happy with how it would work out. He understands this process at NINE years old. Can he fully comprehend it. No. But for those of you that know our family, you know we are a very forward and honest bunch. We don't leave much to question.

Brutal honesty isn't something we shy away from.

Another thing that came up was the numbers. I went back in the blog (there is a search option at the TOP LEFT of the header). I found the first OPTN numbers I had posted on Nov 17, 2006. There were 94,126 people on the organ donation waiting list. Last night (around midnight) there were 95, 225. This morning around noon there were 95, 203.

What does that mean?

I had to use a calculator for this, but from 11/17/06 to 3/01/07, there were 1,077 added to the organ donation waiting list.

From midnight 2/28/07 to noon 3/1/07 (12 hours), TWENTY TWO people either received an organ or died waiting for an organ.

These numbers are pretty small considering the amount of people that die from other causes. That is why I am so hard set about discussing them. These numbers are totally within the boundaries of correcting them. Once they get to a certain threshold, they may very well be out of reach. PLEASE, share this blog information with others. I am not doing this for "the recipient" I am doing it for the 95, 214 (as of 3/1/07 1:10pm) waiting for an organ and the estimated 17 that die every day not getting an organ.

I did get some confirmation from an organization about the numbers that die every day. Obviously, it is impossible to know who will die when. So the current accepted average is 17 per day. That is 6,570 per year (365 day year) do not get an organ.

A good note was that the average was up to 18, but because of the many organ donation awareness programs that are currently in process, the number has dropped to 17. What is the difference from 18 to 17, it is 365, of course. ((I didn't need a calculator for that one)). LOL

To finish off this particular post, this was shared with me today from someone I communicate with via email.
"the reason I got into this is because I watched a close friend die waiting for a liver that never came. She was only a teenager. Losing her compelled me to promote donation through [ ]. So, I definitely understand how your [the recipient] illness turned you into an advocate."

To ME, it's seeing, hearing and sharing these stories that help motivate. Yes it's emotional. But I see the numbers, and can apply the logic to the process. I can really see that the number of people that need an organ, the number that die every year and the number of deaths in the US are all in the realm of possibility.

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