Aurora Beacon News | Stephanie Willis
After writing about compassion fatigue, I got an interesting response from a paramedic who shared with me his journey from saving people’s lives to depending on an anonymous civilian to save his own.
At age 37, after 14 years as a paramedic, the superstar caught a strand of the Strep virus that developed into heart disease. This 911 hero became another name on a long transplant list. His medical-training vigilance is what helps him cope while waiting for the phone call literally giving him a heart.
Data indicates there are about 114,00 people waiting in the U.S. for some form of organ donation, and 18 people die every day waiting for a transplant.
It takes a lot of kindness and generosity to even consider donating your organs. It’s just as heroic a decision as driving that ambulance to save lives.
Of course, doctors will work to save your life if you find yourself in a life-or-death situation — that shouldn’t deter you from considering donation. Physicians in emergency rooms and hospitals are separate from transplant surgeons and the donation process. These people are notified and become involved only after all efforts to save your life have been exhausted.
After talking with one of Naperville’s most distinguished cardiac surgeons, it turns out there are more barriers to deciding on organ donation besides the typical unfounded urban myths.
Believe it or not, when it comes to the idea of who deserves your body parts, one barrier can be racial prejudices. Another stumbling block is that families often wait too long to talk with each other about their decision to donate. Families cannot make that decision for you in their grief-stricken state.Read more: http://beaconnews.suntimes.com/lifestyles/12968968-423/mindful-cafe-make-wishes-known-about-organ-donation.html