KNAU Arizona Public Radio | Chana Joffe-Walt
Ashley Dias, 26, is waiting for lungs. She has cystic fibrosis and needs a lung transplant to survive. She's got a tracheostomy tube in her neck so she can only mouth out words.
When doctors come to see Ashley in her hospital room at the Cleveland Clinic, she has only one question. She pulls out a marker and writes in enormous capital letters, as if it's the only thing she's ever wanted a voice to say:
ANY NEWS ON LUNGS
So far, there is no news on lungs. Ashley's still waiting.
Ashley's doctor, Marie Budev, has 124 patients on the waiting list for a lung transplant. The doctor desperately wants all of them to get transplants. But there aren't enough lungs to go around.
Scarcity is a problem with organ transplants in general. And, unlike other scarce resources, organs can't be bought or sold. So doctors have had to develop systems to figure out who should get transplants and who should wait. Coming up with a system that works well is very tricky.
Read more: http://www.knau.org/post/who-decides-whether-26-year-old-woman-gets-lung-transplant