Today, Oct. 17, is the 11th annual World Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation. While medical advances have resulted in increasing numbers of transplants performed each year, the availability of donor organs is still not enough to fulfill the urgent needs of all those awaiting a transplant.
One reason for the limited availability is that donations from hundreds of registered donors are blocked by relatives after a would-be donor’s death, because they find the decision too emotionally difficult. While understandable in a time of extreme stress, such refusals hurt both the donor’s wishes and those awaiting a transplant.
Transplant Quebec, based in Montreal, explains that those families members who, despite being confronted with a difficult loss, consent to an organ donation often later agree that the gesture brought them comfort and relief. A single donor can provide organs for eight people and tissues for 15 more.
Linda Paradis, 58, of Montreal, is among those in Quebec on an emergency transplant wait list, and told her story in a Transplant Quebec press release. Paradis, a non-smoking mother of three and an accountant, was an avid athlete, health and fitness enthusiast, and helicopter pilot when she was officially diagnosed in June 2016 with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Paradis is now on oxygen 24/7 and awaits a lung transplant. (An estimated 1,200 people in Quebec are in need of organs, Transplant Quebec reported.) Continue reading
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