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Friday, August 12, 2016

Don’t Throw Out Your Organ Donor Card After 65

Weldon Bradshaw, 68, was told by his doctors four years ago that he only had a short time to live, but then he received a liver transplant.Khue Bui for The New York Times
THE NEW YORK TIMES | Paula Span

Take my kidneys. Please.

Take my lungs, too, and my liver. Heart, skin, corneas, anything useful. Once I’ve died, I’ll have no further need for my body parts, but they could prove vital for some of the tens of thousands of people anxiously awaiting organ transplants.

The fact that I’m over 65 doesn’t disqualify me (or you). In fact, it makes us particularly desirable as donors, living or dead, for older recipients, who represent a growing proportion of transplant patients.

Weldon Bradshaw, an English teacher and track coach in Richmond, Va., has a liver that’s considerably older than he is, for example. In 2012, an incurable autoimmune disease had progressed so relentlessly that he was in intensive care at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, in renal failure, hoping for a liver donor.

He required oxygen, dialysis and intravenous feeding. At 64, he had been on the waiting list for 41 days, he said, and “there would not have been a Day 42.” Continue reading
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