April is National Donate Life Month. It is a special opportunity to recognize organ donation, those who have received transplants, and those awaiting the precious gift of an organ.
Abby Services supports and encourages everyone to become an organ donor.
Who can be considered for Organ Donation?
Individuals of all ages and medical histories may consider themselves potential organ, eye, and tissue donors including blood products. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated.
Living donors should be in good physical and mental health. There are medical conditions that may prevent an individual from being a living donor. Don’t worry though, all transplant programs complete a full evaluation to protect both living donors and a recipient’s health and safety.
Even in Lee County (Fort Myers and Cape Coral) organ donation saves lives.
While organ donation is an option nationwide and beyond, there are local programs that support and encourage organ donation.
The Lee County Tax Collectors’ office is a key example of local opportunities to support organ donation. When obtaining and renewing a driver’s license individuals can elect to be an organ donors. This information is displayed on their driver’s license and notifies medical professionals that they have chosen to be considered as a donor should the situation arise.
The following is a story of local Lee County residents who had registered as donors while obtaining their driver’s licenses who have been honored & memorialized for their gifts.
Why become an organ donor?
Most Americans support donation as an opportunity to give life and health to others. Unfortunately, many people overlook the important step of registering as a donor.
This could be due to fear, lack of understanding, or simply not being aware that this simple choice could save the lives of others with no risk to yourself.
The reality is that donors are often people who die suddenly and unexpectedly. Their families are then faced with making the decision at a time of shock and grief. Registering relieves your family of this burden.
One registered donor can save up to 8 lives and heal the lives of more than 75 people. Your registration serves as a symbol of hope to patients waiting, and sharing it with your family lets them know your decision.
To register your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, please visit RegisterMe.org.
For more information about organ, eye, tissue, and living donation, please visit DonateLife.net.
Does registering as a donor change the care you receive as a patient?
This is a common concern among those considering registering to become organ donors. The simple answer is NO.
As a patient, your life always comes first. Doctors work hard to save every patient’s life. Unfortunately, sometimes complete and irreversible loss of brain function eliminates the possibility of recovery. It is in these settings that a patient is declared clinically and legally dead. Only then is donation an option.
The fact that an individual is registered as a donor does not change the treatment they receive or life-saving measures taken.
Supporting those left behind.
A harsh reality of organ donation is that it is very often associated with death. While this reality is unavoidable many families are comforted by the fact that the legacy of their loved one lives on through supporting the lives of others.
While helping Seniors throughout Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and all of Lee County find excellent caregivers we have worked with patients and families managing the grief associated with the loss of a loved one. The following tool is a resource that can help.