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For Your Consideration - Giving the gift of life

Author
Phi Crysae
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#1 - 2013-02-08 07:55:31 UTC  |  Edited by: Phi Crysae
Hi All!

Several months ago I decided to step out of the box where helping others is concerned and decided to become a living organ donor. My hope is to share with you a little about what that is, and tell you a little bit about deceased organ donation.

I live in Ontario, Canada and here we are experiencing a major shortfall in the amount of available organs for transplant to those whose organs, whether kidney, liver, lung or other are failing. This seems to be a trend that is not confined to Canada but is found frequently in many countries around the world. Many people die while waiting for organs from deceased donors.

My decision to become a living donor came up as I found out that I could donate to someone who was not related to me in any way. A living donor is simply someone who decides to donate a part of or whole organ to someone who will experience long term suffering or death without a replacement organ. This decision arose naturally for me as an extension of my service to the larger community, and I have been quite surprised by many peoples reaction towards my choice to pursue this. The reactions vary from acceptance or disbelief to thinking I’m completely nuts!

Apart from the truth hidden in the latter assessment of me, I have felt that this choice is for the best and I wanted to share with you and encourage you to look into the services you have available in your country, region, state or province. Being a living donor certainly is not for everyone, but signing up to become a deceased donor is usually much more amiable. The process here in Canada is quite simple and quick.

From our provincial organ donation program,
“One organ and tissue donor can save up to 8 lives and enhance as many as 75 more. By registering your consent to donate today, you can positively impact the lives of many [individuals] in need of organ and tissue transplants.”

Again these programs are found in most countries around the world, and can usually be accessed by enquiring to your local heath facility or doctor. I encourage everyone to consider the prospect of giving this gift.

My journey on this road is just beginning. I have gone through two rounds of testing at a hospital a couple hundred kilometres from here and am now simply waiting to see if I’m a compatible liver donor. Hopefully in the next two weeks I will hear if I have a surgery date or if I cannot proceed any further. If the latter in the case I will change gears towards becoming a kidney donor.

I am also making a small series of video blogs about my experience and the things I am going through. I must fully admit that they are dry and not very exciting as of yet. I am not cinematographer as you will clearly see if you watch them, and will hopefully get better at making them as time progresses. I will be following through with the video updates as much as I can and would be honoured if you would watch them. They are meant to show people who are considering the procedure of a living donation what someone else has gone through, to allow them to have a better informed decision.

I will try to keep this post updated with the new videos as they become available. I would like to thank you for your time and if you have any questions please feel free to ask, I will try to answer them as best and honestly as I can.

VLOG 1 – Introduction
VLOG 2 – Preliminary Testing
VLOG 3 – Secondary Testing
VLOG 4 - Risks
VLOG 5 - Updates


~ Danial
Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
#2 - 2013-02-08 09:49:40 UTC  |  Edited by: Akita T
Kudos to you for doing that.
Personally, I am fairly sure I would not be willing to become a LIVING donor even for somebody I care deeply about, let alone a complete stranger.
Then again, I'm not a really healthy person, and it's doubtful many of my organs would be suitable for transplant to begin with anyway, so that's actually a huge factor in my reluctance... heart and liver most likely not good, lungs and eyes questionable, and I'm not that sure about the kidneys either lately (I should get that kidney-adjacent pain checked out sooner rather than later).
After I'm dead, sure, take whatever you need, if it's still any good... but that's a different story.

I'm guessing my main question is why would you want to certainly decrease your own health just to help somebody you don't even know for no apparent benefit to your or your loved ones whatsoever ?
I'm still feeling the after-effects of my large-abdominal-cut gallbladder removal surgery nearly two years after it happened, and to be perfectly honest, I am horrified by the idea of ever possibly having to have any more surgeries of any kind done on me. My weight also plays a large role in the significant discomfort I still feel for sure, but some discomfort is not unusual even for very healthy individuals. And that discomfort never completely goes away either.

My secondary question is a hypothetical one - what if years later you end up with problems that could have been avoided if you would have not donated (not necessarily directly the same organ, but complications of other conditions due to the donation, or even just jerk-insurance-related issues) - do you think you'd end up regretting the donation you plan to do these days, or would you be content with the outcome either way ?
And are you sure you actually are aware of all the possible consequences of your altruistic act ?
Jhagiti Tyran
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#3 - 2013-02-08 09:58:21 UTC
I have to admire your courage to do this as well as your compassion and desire to help save someones life. I am registered as a general donor but in the UK they do no really consider live donors unless its between families, it would be something I might consider but it seems its not possible here.
Rain6639
Team Evil
#4 - 2013-02-08 10:09:17 UTC
would do it for my family. sure there's a disparity between national recipients and donors, but what about their families
Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
#5 - 2013-02-08 10:14:39 UTC  |  Edited by: Akita T
Family has a higher chance to be a closer match, but that's it's not THAT high.
Also, living donation has consequences many people are unwilling to want to risk living with.
And last but not least, organ donation is seldom a cure, it's usually an extension.
A good number of people who receive a transplant will end up needing more later in life.
In those cases, it could be that compatible family members already donated in the past, but now a new one is needed.

To be fair, this mainly concerns kidney donations, but it somewhat applies to partial liver donations too.

P.S. Frankly, paid-for donations should be legal, and let the market take care of the shortages.
Jhagiti Tyran
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#6 - 2013-02-08 12:06:19 UTC
I should add one of the reasons I would consider live donation, helping someone is obviously the main reason but under UK law once you die you have no legal possession of your body (because you are no longer an entity under the law). This means that even if you carry a donor card or registered on the national organ donor database that somebody can decide not to carry out your wishes and donate.

Relatives or whoever ends up "owning" your corpse can block the donation. Live donation would ensure that somebody gets something useful and I know its been done. Once I am dead I am obviously gone, I would rather be a live donor and know somebody got the benefit of my spare bits and pieces.
Mizhir
Escalated.
Project Gungnir.
#7 - 2013-02-08 12:24:56 UTC
Wow, thats very brave and amazing. I wish more people would appreciate what people like you do, because you are among the true heros of the world.

Here in Denmark there is a lot of focus on organ donation. Both my mum and many of my friends are blood donaters. If it wasn't for the fact that I have RL pilot license I would probaly have been a blood doner as well.

I have signed that my organs may be used for transplantation when I die, but I am too scared (if that is the right word) to donate to strangers while living. So kudos my friend. You are a great person.

❤️️💛💚💙💜

Phi Crysae
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#8 - 2013-02-08 14:42:33 UTC
Thank you for your responses everyone! Ill try to answer as best as I can.

Quote:
I'm guessing my main question is why would you want to certainly decrease your own health just to help somebody you don't even know for no apparent benefit to your or your loved ones whatsoever? My secondary question is a hypothetical one - what if years later you end up with problems that could have been avoided if you would have not donated (not necessarily directly the same organ, but complications of other conditions due to the donation, or even just jerk-insurance-related issues) - do you think you'd end up regretting the donation you plan to do these days, or would you be content with the outcome either way ?
And are you sure you actually are aware of all the possible consequences of your altruistic act ?


I think your first question is the most common one I get. Most people find it hard to comprehend the decision to do this. I think I can only answer by saying it feels right. That and I cannot imagine what it must be like to be on that waiting list. Either as an adult or child, the emotional impact of not knowing seems immense. There is a large emotional impact on me and my family for going forward with this as well. Not everyone in my family agrees with or supports this but I have been considering it for a very long time and feel, right now at least, that I would not regret it in the future. Now as me after the surgery when I'm trying to manage the pain and we'll see! LOL. To your last question, the process of donating here in Ontario requires that I pass a series of tests, most of which are psychological. I have met with three surgeons, one psychologist, one social worker and a medical consult all to determine if I understand the risks, which are very high. Ill not go over all the risks in this post, but the bad ones are death, liver failure, and internal bleeding requiring more surgery with a transfusion. These are all a very low probability, but the risk is there.

The other risks are social and financial. In Canada I have to go on unemployment sick leave, which gives me 60% of my regular wages. Since I make very little money to begin with I have to save up for the surgery and fundraise the extra money to cover my living expenses for the 8-12 week recovery period. I am fine with this because I will get the opportunity to talk to others about organ donation in general.


Quote:
I am registered as a general donor but in the UK they do no really consider live donors unless its between families, it would be something I might consider but it seems its not possible here.


When I was at the hospital I was informed that I could also be a living lung donor, but There was no information anywhere I could find. It ended up being that the hospital specialized in kidney and liver transplants and didn't seek out lung transplants actively. Sometimes it is tough to find out information. Kidney donation is much less riskier that liver donation, and here is a LINK to a website about kidney donation in the UK.


Quote:
would do it for my family. sure there's a disparity between national recipients and donors, but what about their families


This is something that has crossed my mind as well. I do know that, in the case of liver donors, only about 30% of those who try to become donors actually end up donating, mostly because of anatomy issues. The liver is an organ whose anatomy and blood vessel/bile duct layout can vary greatly from person to person, making it tricky to get a match. In the case of kidney I not sure. But I would personally expect the family to step up before requiring an anonymous donor, although this is unfortunately not what always happens.


Quote:
Family has a higher chance to be a closer match, but that's it's not THAT high.
Also, living donation has consequences many people are unwilling to want to risk living with.
And last but not least, organ donation is seldom a cure, it's usually an extension.
A good number of people who receive a transplant will end up needing more later in life.
In those cases, it could be that compatible family members already donated in the past, but now a new one is needed.

To be fair, this mainly concerns kidney donations, but it somewhat applies to partial liver donations too.

P.S. Frankly, paid-for donations should be legal, and let the market take care of the shortages.


What you say is true in many cases. The doctors told me that the death rate for the recipient is about 6% in the first year and 12-15% in the second. After this it drops rapidly meaning that if the individual does make it through the first few years, chances are they will make it, although never at 100%. The transplant program prefers doing liver transplant to children because of the increased chance of acceptance of the organ, as well as less trauma to the donor as only a relatively small portion of the liver is required for a child.


Thank you all again for your comments, encouragement and questions. I will continue to try and answer them as best as I can, and will post new (dry) videos as the process goes on!
Bane Necran
Appono Astos
#9 - 2013-02-08 16:13:22 UTC  |  Edited by: Bane Necran
Seems so primitive now that we can use stem cells to regrow organs. Straight

The cells can be harvested from adults, and you don't have to worry about them being rejected or take any medication, because they're as much your organ as the one they replaced.

"In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existence, principle has existence, the Way has existence, spirit is nothingness." ~Miyamoto Musashi

Jhagiti Tyran
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#10 - 2013-02-08 17:43:39 UTC
Bane Necran wrote:
Seems so primitive now that we can use stem cells to regrow organs. Straight

The cells can be harvested from adults, and you don't have to worry about them being rejected or take any medication, because they're as much your organ as the one they replaced.


Some people curse Tony Blair for his part in causing two wars, I don't. I curse him for allowing his religion to cloud his judgment and passing a law that forbade certain avenues of stem cell research.
Surfin's PlunderBunny
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#11 - 2013-02-08 17:45:50 UTC
Blue Republic is best republic Big smile

"Little ginger moron" ~David Hasselhoff 

Want to see what Surf is training or how little isk Surf has?  http://eveboard.com/pilot/Surfin%27s_PlunderBunny

Surfin's PlunderBunny
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#12 - 2013-02-08 17:46:32 UTC
Has anyone seen "Repo Men?"

That movie was awesome Blink

"Little ginger moron" ~David Hasselhoff 

Want to see what Surf is training or how little isk Surf has?  http://eveboard.com/pilot/Surfin%27s_PlunderBunny

Surfin's PlunderBunny
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#13 - 2013-02-08 17:50:19 UTC
Jhagiti Tyran wrote:
I should add one of the reasons I would consider live donation, helping someone is obviously the main reason but under UK law once you die you have no legal possession of your body (because you are no longer an entity under the law). This means that even if you carry a donor card or registered on the national organ donor database that somebody can decide not to carry out your wishes and donate.

Relatives or whoever ends up "owning" your corpse can block the donation. Live donation would ensure that somebody gets something useful and I know its been done. Once I am dead I am obviously gone, I would rather be a live donor and know somebody got the benefit of my spare bits and pieces.


Chances are I'll die in a hail of gunfire so all my organs will be useless anyway P

"Little ginger moron" ~David Hasselhoff 

Want to see what Surf is training or how little isk Surf has?  http://eveboard.com/pilot/Surfin%27s_PlunderBunny

Jhagiti Tyran
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#14 - 2013-02-08 18:26:38 UTC
Surfin's PlunderBunny wrote:
Jhagiti Tyran wrote:
I should add one of the reasons I would consider live donation, helping someone is obviously the main reason but under UK law once you die you have no legal possession of your body (because you are no longer an entity under the law). This means that even if you carry a donor card or registered on the national organ donor database that somebody can decide not to carry out your wishes and donate.

Relatives or whoever ends up "owning" your corpse can block the donation. Live donation would ensure that somebody gets something useful and I know its been done. Once I am dead I am obviously gone, I would rather be a live donor and know somebody got the benefit of my spare bits and pieces.


Chances are I'll die in a hail of gunfire so all my organs will be useless anyway P


Look on the bright side, at least it will get you out of your engagement. Give me a hail of gunfire before getting married again any day.
Bane Necran
Appono Astos
#15 - 2013-02-09 03:21:02 UTC
Jhagiti Tyran wrote:
Some people curse Tony Blair for his part in causing two wars, I don't. I curse him for allowing his religion to cloud his judgment and passing a law that forbade certain avenues of stem cell research.


The way they limited the discussion to aborted fetuses was deceptive. Fully grown people of any age have stem cells that can be used.

Religion is just something they use to control the masses. In that case it was a convenient excuse for people who believe there are too many humans and more people should be dying to not allow the unwashed masses to be able to use it.

"In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existence, principle has existence, the Way has existence, spirit is nothingness." ~Miyamoto Musashi

Surfin's PlunderBunny
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#16 - 2013-02-09 03:28:30 UTC
Jhagiti Tyran wrote:
Surfin's PlunderBunny wrote:
Jhagiti Tyran wrote:
I should add one of the reasons I would consider live donation, helping someone is obviously the main reason but under UK law once you die you have no legal possession of your body (because you are no longer an entity under the law). This means that even if you carry a donor card or registered on the national organ donor database that somebody can decide not to carry out your wishes and donate.

Relatives or whoever ends up "owning" your corpse can block the donation. Live donation would ensure that somebody gets something useful and I know its been done. Once I am dead I am obviously gone, I would rather be a live donor and know somebody got the benefit of my spare bits and pieces.


Chances are I'll die in a hail of gunfire so all my organs will be useless anyway P


Look on the bright side, at least it will get you out of your engagement. Give me a hail of gunfire before getting married again any day.


Maybe we were made for each other... she's a left winger, I'm a right winger. What could possibly go wrong? Big smile

"Little ginger moron" ~David Hasselhoff 

Want to see what Surf is training or how little isk Surf has?  http://eveboard.com/pilot/Surfin%27s_PlunderBunny

Bane Necran
Appono Astos
#17 - 2013-02-09 03:31:29 UTC
You're a liberal at heart Surfin'. Maybe someday the brainwashing will wear off. Blink

"In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existence, principle has existence, the Way has existence, spirit is nothingness." ~Miyamoto Musashi

Surfin's PlunderBunny
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#18 - 2013-02-09 03:38:14 UTC
Bane Necran wrote:
You're a liberal at heart Surfin'. Maybe someday the brainwashing will wear off. Blink


It's called mental conditioning, not brainwashing Straight

"Little ginger moron" ~David Hasselhoff 

Want to see what Surf is training or how little isk Surf has?  http://eveboard.com/pilot/Surfin%27s_PlunderBunny

Jhagiti Tyran
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#19 - 2013-02-09 11:06:53 UTC
Bane Necran wrote:
Jhagiti Tyran wrote:
Some people curse Tony Blair for his part in causing two wars, I don't. I curse him for allowing his religion to cloud his judgment and passing a law that forbade certain avenues of stem cell research.


The way they limited the discussion to aborted fetuses was deceptive. Fully grown people of any age have stem cells that can be used.

Religion is just something they use to control the masses. In that case it was a convenient excuse for people who believe there are too many humans and more people should be dying to not allow the unwashed masses to be able to use it.


Thats why I said "certain avenues" because back then using stem cells from fetuses would have been a short cut (still would really) speeding up the research and would allow viable medical treatments to available earlier.
Nerath Naaris
Pink Winged Unicorns for Peace Love and Anarchy
#20 - 2013-02-09 15:20:34 UTC  |  Edited by: Nerath Naaris
Considering that, compared to non-donors under the same circumstances, for some hitherto unknown reason organ donors tend to have a higher mortality rate on their way to or already in hospital, I consider your move a very brave one.

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