Brighton Pittsford Post | Aysa Stryker, Michael Murphy
Honeoye, N.Y. —
Weighing the decision to be an organ donor is difficult and personal, but often people never get around to making it.
Until, that is, when a loved one who one day is perfectly healthy, is near death the next.
This circumstance became a reality for Honeoye Falls resident Suzanne Cannon two years ago when her 18-year-old son, Peter, passed away suddenly from a brain injury sustained in a two-car crash in Richmond.
Peter was a senior at Honeoye-Falls High School and a Mendon Fire Department Explorer.
Giving life in death
Faced with an unexpected and overwhelming loss, Cannon made the decision to donate her son’s organs. The catalyst, she said, was having seen the benefits firsthand.
“As a nurse working in a medical field, I’ve seen a lot,” said Cannon. “I’ve seen it from the other side. I know how important it is to be able to give, even in a time of crisis. There are so many people in the country who are in need of organs, and the only way they get them is through people like my son. It’s given my husband and my family peace knowing that my son has given life to someone else.”
The Cannon family donated their son’s kidneys and liver. Cannon said both kidneys were donated, saving the lives of a 35-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man, through the URMC network.
"I was not ready to let my son go, but I did feel relieved in knowing that something good was going to come out of it,” said Cannon. “I think it’s an important thing for people to consider. Even if it’s one life saved, it’s still one life. I had no qualms to donate from Peter. He would have wanted us to do that.”
A rise in organ donation
It wasn’t until recently that more people began taking the message of organ donation to heart.
Rob Kochik, executive director of University of Rochester Medical Center’s Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, said that last year, 29 percent of patients the organization worked with were organ donors, more than double the percentage of several years ago.
Read more: http://www.brightonpittsfordpost.com/feature/x787566417/Giving-life-through-organ-donation
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