There's a new show on CBS on Sunday nights that has really captured my attention. "Three Rivers" is about the organ transplant program at a hospital in Pittsburg. I know there are probably alot of medical inaccuracies in the show, but the concept is noteworthy because it brings a very important topic to the forefront - organ donation.
Many people in this country and around the world are waiting for a second chance at life. That chance will only come through the priceless gift of a donated organ. Of course, for someone else that means the loss of a loved one. For each family that experiences the joy of receiving the gift of life another family experiences the tremendous grief of loss.
From what I understand, just one organ donor can bless many other lives. Aside from the obvious organs such as the heart, lungs and kidneys, many other organs can harvested for transplant. These include the liver, corneas, ligaments and tendons, even skin tissue. According to the U. S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, up to 50 people can by helped by a single organ donor! Can you imagine that?
The tremendous decision of donating organs lies with each of us. To avoid putting our loved ones in the position of having to make that difficult decision while in the emotional throes of loss, each of us should make that decision in advance - now. It is as simple as signing up for the organ donor program when you renew your driver's license. You are then enrolled in the donation program and you will receive a special notation to attach to your driver's license. This alerts medical personnel to the fact that you wish to be an organ donor. You should also advise your family of your decision so they can honor your wish to extend the gift of life to others.
While it is difficult to comtemplate our own mortality, this is one area that can be addressed in advance. Just think of the joy your decision could bring to others - a second chance at life. What a blessing and comfort for your loved ones to know that you are giving such a precious gift to another family. Perhaps that knowledge would help them in their time of loss, help them to see a silver lining in the clouds of their grief.
I have personally made the decision to be an organ donor and I encourage each of you to do the same. Somehow I think that even though our own lives end here on this earth, we will have the joy of seeing how our life lives on in others from the other side of eternity.
Oh, and by the way...check out "Three Rivers" on CBS at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday nights. There are some really touching storylines....and a couple of pretty hot doctors!
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