If you thought your child was going to soon die would you offer the child’s organs to the parents of another critically ill child in the hospital? This scenario is now playing out in Canada. Each family faces possible heart break at the loss of their recently born child.
As always, the concept of organ donation raises many questions and serves as a reminder that in many nations lists for a request of an organ transplant are long. Many patients in need of a transplant die without ever receiving the life saving organ.
A blog at the New York Times reports that in Toronto, at the Hospital for Sick Children, two female babies born in the early months of 2009 are fighting for their lives in the intensive care unit. One child, Lillian O’Connor has a congenital heart defect: truncus arteriosus; she needs a heart transplant to survive. The other baby, Kaylee Vitelli Wallace, has Joubert’s Syndrome; in this disorder she fails to breathe upon falling into slumber.
Kaylee’s father, Jason, has offered her heart to the parents of Lillian O’ Connor upon Kaylee’s death. It was believed that Kaylee would not survive upon disconnection from the ventilator. However, Kaylee has now been taken off the ventilator and continues to breathe on her own.
According to the National Post “with this form of cardiac donation, the heart must stop beating for five minutes before she can be legally declared dead and the transplant can begin.”
It seems a rare quirk of fate that these two very young babies are at the same hospital. Also, the sets of parents involved have agreed not only to try to save the life of one child if the other dies and could donate the heart, but also to make this decision public.
After several days of ongoing life without the ventilator, Kaylee’s parents have now decided to maintain Kaylee’s privacy. So the world prays and waits, wondering what the outcome of this emotional saga will be.
In Canada and American, too many people are dying while they spend years on the list to receive a donated organ. Many people have the good intention of donating their organs; however since they did not notify their family members the organs are too often not donated. Thus it is crucial to fill out an organ donor card and have family members sign the card as witnesses. Also list in your will and any living will documents that you wish to donate your organs upon death.
I have always felt it is a good deed to donate any viable organs upon one’s death. A health crisis in America is complicated enough due to health insurance policies that too often do not cover all of the costs of major medical treatment. Add to that stress the uncertainty of not knowing if a donated organ will appear in time to save one’s life and it is easier to understand the crucial need for more Americans to sign organ donor cards.
Information about Organ Donation
For information about the procedures to donate organs contact:
Canadian Association of Transplantation: (http://www.transplant.ca)
10207-107 Street, FortSask,
AB T8L 2H9,
Step by Step
George Marcello, CEO/ Founder
170 Lauder Ave.
Toronto, ON, M6E3H2
Telephone: 416-651-6154, email: email@example.com
Information about Organ Donation in America:
This article donated as part of volunteer work per President Obama’s mandate that Americans use their skills to help our country.