I wrote this a few months ago but I hope this clears up any questions about transplants you might have! Before I knew Max needed a new heart I can’t say I was very familiar with how waiting for a donor organ worked so I wanted to share a few things I have learned along the way.
1. Wait times will vary based on donor availability, age, size, blood type, location of the donor/ recipient, time listed, and about a thousand other factors. You want an organ transplant to be a perfect match, not an average match. The idea of what “number” someone is on the list isn’t a good way to look at it.
2. All transplants must go through the organ registry. Organs can not be “gifted” to someone specific. Organs are matched to a recipient in the same region based on the criteria I described above.
3. It is inappropriate to pray that someone else’s passes away so that someone else can receive those organs. This may seem obvious, but I have heard it many times. The best thing anyone can do is promote awareness about organ donation and how you can be someone’s hero by choosing to be a donor. That way if someone is ever faced with that choice they are already familiar with the idea of organ donation. This is what can help save lives!
4. A heart transplant isn’t a cure. Unfortunately transplants come along with a lifelong of medications, a weakened immune system, and the possibility developing other illnesses or health issues. Thankfully, through medications, careful monitoring and lots of prayers, transplant recipients can live pretty “normal” lives.
5. Transplants don’t last forever. The specific statistics of survival rates for different time frames are out there, but I don’t want to focus on that. Many people will need a second transplant in their lives, and many people don’t survive long enough to need one. The blessing of a transplant is extra time, and that is the best gift anyone can receive. ❤❤❤