Thursday, May 17, 2007

Something close to my HEART!

Sorry no pictures today girls....I've been busy but I wanted to take a moment to mention something that is really important to me......BEING AN ORGAN DONOR!
My Dad has battled heart conditions since I was little, having heart attack after heart attack...some major and some minor but all the same each one damaged his heart. He had bypass surgery, stints, name he's had it done. About 9 1/2 years ago he had another attack and became very very ill.....he was basically put on life support because his heart was giving out. My sister and I were told by the doctors to stay close, they didn't think he would make would be a matter of days.
It then was suggested that he be put on the heart transplant waiting list....they evalute new patients and older ones on the list every Friday (here in Dallas) and put them on according how sick they are. That Friday, my dad was put on the list at the top spot. Friday night, he's difibulater had shocked his heart even while he was on support that was pumping his just didn't look good at all. Saturday night, I received a call from the transplant cooridnater saying they had a heart for my dad....we couldn't believe it! We gathered all our stuff up as soon as we could so we could see him before they took him into surgery. Close to 10 hours later, he was out and being put in a room in ICU. I won't go in to his recovery, but he's doctor calls him his miracle patient.
Later on, we found out the heart was from a 14 year old boy who had been sick. The boy and his family are truely angels sent from above....they gave the gift of life to my father who would not be here today if they had not. He would not have met his granddaughters or seen his daughters get married if it hadn't been for their gift! It's hard for me to convey what they mean to me.....they saved my Dad's life and I'm forever grateful to them.
I wanted to give you guys some stats on people waiting for transplants:
* 15 people pass away a day who are on the list waiting for an organ
* 13 people are added a day to the waiting list
* 1 person who becomes an organ donor can save the lives of 8 people waiting to receive an organ

My Dad was a rare case.....he did receive a heart quickly because he was ranked as the priority and the heart that was received matched him perfectly.....a miracle within it's self. Most people have to wait 3 month to receive an organ and for many people, that is too long so please become an organ donor.......make sure you regsistrar with the DPS and it's on your driver's license and also, make sure your family knows your wishes as well. Even if you are signed up to be one, if one family member says no, that's it, they will not donate your organs.
Here's a wonderful site that you should check out, it's full of great information about becoming a donor and the story of Lisa Landry Childress.
The first 10 people that tell me that they have discussed becoming an organ donor with their loved ones and have a donor card and/or checked yes on their license, I will send you my actions. I can't check so I'm taking your word for it! LOL!!
Email me at


Anonymous maureen wildauer said...

Hi Brenda...Wow I can't believe I am the first to post! I have a dear friend who is on a transplant list for a liver. I know the pain of watching and waiting. I have had this discussion with my family about donating whatever someone needs from me. I also have the pink circle (in California) on my drivers liscense that says organ donor. After all we can't take it with us. I have to say I really admire the decision of parents using their precious child's body for donation. What a beautiful gift of life. Thank you so much for sharing your dad's story. My dad also has had many heart attacks, bypass surgeries and implants. He is not a canidate for transplant. At this point every day we have with him is a blessing. Enjoy your dad!

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Brenda ~ What a blessing that your dad is here today. (I think in honor of this post you should post a photo of him!) A coworker and his wife have both been on the heart transplant list for years. Sadly, they have recently been told by doctors that they may never receive a transplant because there are just too many people on the list. The statistics that you posted convey this. How sad that because some people don't know the facts about organ donation that a list like this has to be used to determine, in most cases, who has a chance and who doesn't.

I am an organ donor, and it gives me peace to know that if something should happen to me, I could save someone else. You don't have to send me your actions, as I already have them, but I just wanted to say that I'm so glad to hear that your family received the miracle that they did. God bless.

12:46 PM  
Blogger dmrtoo said...

I agree totally Brenda, My son was born with heart disease and has had several heart surgeries. I wish your dad all the best and a FAST recovery. I will keep you guys in my thoughts


1:13 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Brenda - First I want to send my blessings to you and your family. Proof that God works miracles everyday. The statistics are shocking and I'm glad you shared. Just think, perhaps someone reading this is now making a change!

I have had the discussion already with the hubby. In the event I should pass, my DH knows how strongly I feel about being a donor. Pass the actions to the next person. Thinking of you...

1:40 PM  
Blogger e said...

I wish your father a speedy recovery!!!! His story is amazing. (I agree, we need a picture of him :) And God bless the family of that 14 year old.
My niece was born 4 years ago with congenital heart disease & she had surgery as a baby. Thankfully she has not required transplant, and is now a healthy big girl! Back when she was struggling, I thought hard about being a donor. My husband knows that if and when I die, that I want to be a donor. I just renewed my CA driver's licence and checked "Yes" to organ donation. -elizabeth

1:44 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I, too, believe that this is a really important matter. I've never understood why people hold on to things that are of no use to them anymore--broken toys, rusted tools, etc. The same goes for can't take them with you so you might as well give the gift of life to someone who would cherish the gift forever! I'm proud to say that I am a registered organ donor in the state of Oklahoma (and my family knows it, too). :)

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm so happy that your dad received such a gift of life. I used to work at an organ bank and it was truly miraculous to see what goes on behind the scenes. Needless to say, I'm a strong supporter of organ donation. Yes, I have discussed it with my loved ones, which is THE most important thing!!

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

Hi Brenda-

This is something I believe strongly in to too. Being a nurse I have seen and heard about a lot of opportunties. That is why I support organ donation and it even says on that little sticker on my license!!

2:19 PM  
Blogger Zoom-Bug Photography said...

My 3 year-old has Cystic Fibrosis and although she's still young, we have resigned to the idea that someday she will most likely have to have a lung transplant...that's a REALLY scary thing for a mommy to say outloud. I saw your post and I was like "FINALLY". Finally someone is posting about Organ Donation and it's importance! I'm an organ donor and the idea that someone will be giving my daughter their lungs one day is overwhelmingly thoughtful, amazing and miraculous. Thanks for posting this and raising awareness!! God Bless!


2:50 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

of course i am a donor!! when my father died, we were able to donate his eyes. later we found they were given to a 13 year old boy and 67 year old man. my father was 47 when he passed from a massive heart attack. CONGRATS TO YOU!!

2:59 PM  
Anonymous cynthia said...

i've been wondering where you what a story! so glad to hear that your dad is doing well! and what a blessing it is for you and your family for your dad to receive a heart. i am an organ donor but i did not realize that you must discuss your wishes with husband knows but i'm going to make sure all that is around me knows as well. i would want someone just like your dad to benefit "from me" just like that precious little boy and his family. thanks for sharing your story...i hope that others will think of giving too !

3:30 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I mostly lurk your blog, but I just wanted to say that this has always been important to me as well. I have had donor marked since I got my first license! And my husband knows as well as the rest of my family!

That is really a beautiful story about your dad. Thank you for sharing.

3:48 PM  
Blogger LeslieinTN said...

I, too, am an organ donor and have talked with my husband SEVERAL times (LOL) about this. We recently watched a Hallmark movie, A Stranger's Heart - very good movie that will kick your rear into wanting to do it if you aren't already!

I enjoyed reading your story and love hearing about miracles. :)

4:47 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

i know i'm #14 but wanted to let you know that i am definitely on the organ donor list. my mom received a liver three years ago. she never drank a day in her life but had total failure. she got an organ just in time. we totally belive in donating in our house! great to hear about your dad.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

I have always been a donor and my 7 year old son has kidney issues and even though we are not at that point and hopefully (keeping fingers crossed) someday he may need a kidney. When and if that time comes I hope I have a happy ending. Thank you for sharing your story.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

A colleague and I were just talking yesterday about organ donation. I told her the same thing I've told my family- take me apart and give all my pieces to whoever needs them! I do have my choice listed on my license, but it is interesting to know that your family needs to know your wishes too.
Thanks for posting about your dad. Hopefully that will help someone make a decision to choose organ donation!

9:02 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Hi Brenda

I'm glad it turned out good for your dad. I've been on the list since I was around 10 years of age. My mother didn't like the idea (and i didn't like the idea that she could vito my decision upon my death) but I make it clear to my nearest and dearest that I am no good to anyone just in a hole in the ground!


11:48 PM  
Blogger Joy Kaminski said...

so glad things worked out for your dad, brenda. Unfortunately, a good friend of ours passed away in his 30's while waiting for a liver. however, he was a HUGE advocate of the organ donor system...he is even on the commercial for life goes on. the more people like you share their stories, the more donors there will be....and more people can be saved. All the best to your family...

8:34 AM  
Blogger slgober said...

Hi Brenda - another organ donor here... I have talked to my family about my wishes. This is an interesting topic to me because I just took my 15-year old daughter to get her learner's license yesterday and that question is on the application. We had a discussion and she is an organ donor also, by her own decision. I was very proud of her!

8:48 AM  
Blogger meegan said...

I'm not writing for actions. I can relate to the amazing blessing it is to have a family member require organ transplants.
My brother just recieved a kidney and pancreas transplant a little over a month ago. He was severely diabetic since he was 8 years old. He had gotten to the point where the family was 'gathered.' Without going into details, he was sent home two days ago, hasn't had to do dialysis or receive insulin since the surgery. And has a new lease on life. Yes, I am a donor and so is my husband. It's just THAT important.

10:03 AM  
Blogger D.Lauren said...

Your story is so touching. What a blessing for your dad and your family.'s so important and I do have it on my liscense. Thanks for sharing your experience.


6:59 PM  
Blogger angeliclenore said...

I am so proud to be a registered donor!! I don't know anyone personally that has ever needed a donated organ, but it is something that is very important to me! I have it marked on my dr license, I have the card in my wallet, and I drive my family nuts with how often I tell them I want to be a donor! I also go as often as I can to donate blood.

I feel like I am tooting my own horn here, but it is sooo important to be a donor. God gave us our bodies and the amazing technology to do this. So in my opinion I have to be a donor!

Thank you for the great story and give your dad a BIG hug from us all!


8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great entry. I wanted to say that my mother got a kidney transplant at Methodist Hospital in Dallas in Jan 1995. I was a young girl at the time and never thought she would see me grow up. Because some family was kind enough to donate their sons (a young boy who lost a knife fight) organs, my mother lived for another 6-1/2 years.
Thank you for sharing, there are so many who don't even consider it.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda,
Just wanted to add a little thought. In Belgium, where I live, you are considered a donor unless you have stated otherwise. That said, family's consent is still asked and many times refused.
So I have registered myself as a donor (you had to see the look on the faces of the people at city hall, they litterely had never done the procedure before) and my family knows how I think about organ donation.


5:08 AM  
Blogger Debb said...

I became an organ donor supporter since I was quite young. I signed a card that I carried in my wallet and I remember telling my parents I wanted to donate my body to science and they couldn't quite understand why I wanted to do that. I don't know anyone who is an organ recipient, but I can imagine the joy and hope it can bring to someone in need. It is such a simple and right thing to do.
I encouraged my daughters to sign their donor cards too.
Remember to tell your family your wishes.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Audrey said...

Awww...what a very touching post Brenda!!

3:40 PM  

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