Organ donation policy change keeps family from donating man's organs

CBC NEWS | Newfoundland & Labrador
Derek Park, shown with his grandchildren, wanted to donate his organs, but a change in provincial protocol meant his family decided against it. (Submitted by the Park family)

Donating a loved one's organs is sensitive at the best of times, but imagine being told your brain-dead relative has to be flown 800 kilometres, with no family, for organ removal.
'Well, there goes maybe eight, 10 lives. Who knows how many lives Dad could have impacted?'- Shawna Park's husband
A family in York Harbour, in western Newfoundland, cam up against a change in provincial protocol when they made the difficult decision to donate their father's organs, and decided instead to have him cremated.

Derek Park, 61, ended up in the hospital in Corner Brook last April where a CAT scan revealed a major bleed inside his skull after he suddenly developed a severe headache while working.

Doctors determined there was nothing they could do for Park other than make him comfortable. The blood soaking into his brain would eventually cause it to swell, leading to organ failure.

His family decided to put him on life support and to sedate him to lessen the stress on his body when the swelling started.

Eventually, his condition deteriorated to the point where a doctor "who was completely gentle and understanding" talked Park's daughter-in-law Shawna and her husband about his wishes regarding organ donation.  Continue to read  Listen to podcast


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