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Become an Organ Donor, TODAY!

Submitted by Champion, Eleanor Ball

donate life new englandDid you know that last year alone, organ donors saved more than 28,000 lives? Another one million people received tissue transplants that helped them recover from skin loss, bone damage, spinal injuries, burns, hearing impairment and vision loss. And yet sadly, thousands more die every year waiting for a donor match that never comes. Champion, Eleanor Ball and volunteer at Donate Life New England shares her personal story of how an organ donor saved her life and why becoming an organ/tissue donor may be one of the best decisions you can ever make.

So, you have decided to become an organ/tissue donor. But wait! You’re in good health-why should you be an organ donor NOW or ever? What if your medical team doesn’t try to save you just so the other team of doctors can retrieve my healthy and viable organs for someone else? Or you just can’t make up your mind on the issue!

You have just experienced what is called “the ghoul syndrome”. This prevents many people of all ages from signing up to be an organ/tissue donor, which I find troubling because there is no real basis for that feeling. Personally, I know the medical team does everything in their power to save a life.

In January 2001, I suffered a cardiac arrest out of the blue. My medical team performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for well over four minutes and then decided that if I didn’t start to respond within 10 seconds, they would cease their attempts and call time of death. After four minutes of cardiac arrest and CPR, one potentially is going to suffer major brain damage, and my medical team knew that neither Bill (my husband) nor I wanted me to be a vegetable. I was the perfect candidate for the heart transplant because other than a damaged heart, I was a very healthy person with no other illnesses and my medical team knew that I would continue my healthy life after retrieving my new heart. I thank my donor and my hardworking medical team who not only gave me ten more seconds which saved my life, but a heart and a second chance at life!  

Please don’t let “ghoul syndrome” stop you from being an organ/tissue donor. You could save a life! For more information or to register as a donor TODAY, please visit Donate Life New England.