Friday, June 19, 2009

Starting the Conversation

As I walked across the Nelson-Phipps bridge this morning I could see a coworker and her son walking into the hospital entrance. I have worked with her for 9 years and have known her son since he was in elementary school. He is now taking college classes and works full-time here as well. He is a handsome young man with a beautiful spirit just like his mom.

She and I arrive on our floor at about the same time. She said, "Hey, funny to run into you. We were just talking about you. On the drive in this morning, my son said that he had read your blog last night and he asked me, 'Mom, could you do that? Could you give someone your kidney?'"

I don't know how the conversation ended, but I know that it started. Here is a young man who likely never would have had a conversation with this mother or anyone about organ donation. Now he has thought about it - thought about it enough to raise the question with his mother. A seed has been planted. Organ donation is now something real to him. That can never be erased.

It would be great if all families had this conversation. Signing your donor card and having it designated on your license is the first step. But make sure your loved ones know your wishes firsthand. If a tragedy strikes and your organs are available, even if you have that little heart on your driver's licence, the hospital will consider the wishes of your family. At their time of lose, this may be a painful decision. If you have told them your wishes, then just maybe they can find some comfort that your wish was to help someone else.

Later today, someone pulled out their wallet, pointed to the heart on their driver's license and asked me, "This does mean that if something happens to me, they will use my organs, right?" I said, "It tells the healthcare providers that that is your wish. Please go home tonight and tell your family so that they know it, too."

It may be an awkward conversation at first and I am not sure how to start it, but please start the conversation somewhere, anywhere. And please sign a donor card if you have not already.

No comments:

Post a Comment