Thursday, August 12, 2010


After nearly 10 hours in the hospital, I received a phone call through the land line in the room. It's Erin from the surgery team.

Erin: "Hey Jake, I have some news for you..."

Jake: "OK..."

Erin: "The donor family has withdrawn consent of the organs which means there will not be a transplant right now. I'm really sorry. This happens sometimes but we expect to see you back here really soon."

Jake: "Oh. OK, I understand. I've only been on the waiting list for six months and I know I'll be back soon. Today was a good test run of what to expect, so thank you."

Erin: "Are you OK? Is there anything I can do for you?"

Jake: "I am OK. Thank you for all of the information today. I will see you soon."

I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I respect the decision made by the donor's immediate family to keep the deceased body parts in tact. On the other hand, it seems like a betrayal. The donor made a conscious decision in life to provide vital organs to those in need after passing away. And several people, including myself, were counting on those organs for a better existence. Now our chance is gone. It's back to the waiting list for another healthy donor with blood type O. The wait could last another couple of weeks, or a few more months, or even another year. And for what?

If you have signed up to be an organ donor, please make sure to explain your wishes to your immediate family. In the United States, your family has the right to override your decision to donate organs in the event of your death. So it is very important that they understand and comply with your wishes.Tell them while you are still alive.

When I first imagined somebody passing away in order to provide a better life for several different people, I felt conflicted. It is sad that a life must end, however after my experience today I realize that it's better for a life to end and help others rather than to just end.

Tonight a donor passes away with all of his or her healthy organs. The liver, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, heart, eyeballs, skin tissue, bone marrow, etc. will be buried with the body.

Does it make a difference? To many people, yes- it makes a very big difference.


  1. Jake, I shouted for joy last night when I read your blog. I called my husband and told him your good news. Tonight, tears roll down my cheeks for you. I, too, and waiting on a kidney/pancreas and I share your pain. Your blog is very good tonight. I wish the entire world could read it. Organ donation is so important. My 17 year old daughter just renewed her drivers license and she excited came home to tell me that she signed up to be an organ donor. I'm proud of her! I will keep reading your blog for the next call to come in and I know you will get your organs soon!
    Donna Williams