Bradley is almost three. Just a usual kid with golden hair and big gray eyes. He likes sweets and baseball. People who see Bradley walking with his parents in the street turn their heads and sigh enviously. “Little angel” – they say. He makes laugh all the people around him when he copies Michael Jackson’s moonwalk or calls himself a Spiderman and promises to save the world. But tears appear on the eyes of his mother Catherine when she watches her carelessly playing child and even Martin, Bradley’s father would quickly leave the room for his wife not to notice the tears which appear in his eyes. There is a part that stranger people and neighbors in the street don’t know. Bradley is dying. He has incurable liver disease. The respirator could have replaced Bradley’s lungs and the dialysis machine could have replaced his kidneys but there is no machine that would replace the liver. His only hope is a transplant. The family has singed up an organ donation program of course but the line is so long and disease is so serious that the hope fades away with every day. Catherine and Martin can buy Bradley plenty of toys and sweets but they can not buy the only thing he needs badly – health. They are wonderful parents and would gladly give the life for their kid but there is a thing they can not help. It’s being a year already during which this young couple meets every moment with hope mixed with despair. They are afraid of every cough of Bradley as it could be a symptom of the complication of his disease and they also try not to keep the phone busy for a long time as they are expecting for the call from the Oran Donation service every minute. This story has no ending yet and we will hope it will be good.
I knowingly didn’t name the place where Bradley lives as it didn’t really matter. There are plenty of kids – such as Bradley who stand in the line… Line for life… The problem of children transplantation is a burning issue as this kind of transplantation differs from the adult one. From the one side children are difficult patients and unfortunately they can not wait for a long time. From the other side the outcomes of liver, kidneys, lungs and heart transplantation is among the best one.
“In 2004, children younger than 18 years made up nearly 3% of the 86 378 candidates for organ transplantation and nearly 7% of the 27 031 organ transplant recipients. Children accounted for nearly 14% of the 7152 deceased organ donors. The transplant community recognizes important differences between pediatric and adult organ transplant recipients, including different etiologies of organ failure, surgical procedures that are more complex or technically challenging, effects of development on the pharmacokinetic properties of common immunosuppressants, unique immunological aspects of transplant in the developing immune system and increased susceptibility to posttransplant complications, particularly infectious diseases.” (Sweet, Wong).
Everyday several thousands of people who could be saved die all over the world. Die in the line waiting for their turn to get organ transplantation and many others lose their lives before they even get on to the transplant list. These people could be saved by simplest procedure of singing in any Organ Donation program. The gap between the number of organs donated and the number of people who wait for these organs is overwhelming. Singing up any organ donation program you could save somebody’s life and it will cost you nothing and will not harm you in any way. The life of thousands of people depends on the generosity of donors and their families. “Continued progress in organ donation will help enable transplantation to alleviate the increasing incidence of end-stage organ disease. This article discusses the implementation and effect of the federally initiated Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaborative; it then reviews organ donation data, living and deceased, from 1995 to 2004.” (Marks, Wagner)
Most of the world religions also support organ donations and even consider it to be the will of the Higher power. So, religious limitations can not hold you from being a donor. There are also no age limitations, which would prohibit you to become donor.
What do we leave after death? Memories in the heads of our dear ones, children – our eternal continuation… pretty much, but not enough. Transplantation gives us the opportunity to make the most precious present to the unknown people who badly need our help. And this present is not much or less but Life. There is nothing more precious, more valuable than life, and now it’s in your power to make this present to somebody.
American Journal of Transplantation //Organ Donation and Utilization, 1995–2004: Entering the Collaborative Era W. H. Marks, D. Wagner, T. C. Pearson, J. P. Orlowski. Volume 6 Page 1101 – May 2006
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