Giving gratitude

Organ Donation Give and Let Live

Organ donation

August 6 was Organ Donation Day.

Last week, Sury sent me an email with a link to the organ donation day drive by the Times of India Group. He said, see how simple it is to do it, and true to his nature, promptly filled in the details​ in the online form and was do​ne in two minutes.

Me, I procrastinated, thinking I’d do it the next day. I was in the middle of client work and just made a note in my diary. The next day, the link was no longer there. So I Google-d it and found I could do it via Facebook. Ah, problem solved. I signed an organ donation form to donate my organs.

​I am overwhelmed to think that this simple act can make such a big difference in so many peoples’ lives.

[box] We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. Sir Winston Churchill ​[/box]
​​
​When my Mother was diagnosed with Interstitial Lung Disease in 1998 and the doctors gave her six months to a year to live, she laughed and said that she had seen her grandson, held him in her arms and she was ready for death, no matter when it happened. Then she told me, when we returned home, that she was pretty sure she had at least another ten years left. She lived for 12 more. I am pretty sure it was her attitude and will-power that kept her alive. And she was insistent that when she did cease to be, we should donate her body to a medical college.

When she passed away in 2010 and left us devastated, I remember feeling completely lost, frozen with the news. My brain kicked in a few moments later and I was nervous about how we would carry out her wish. We had not taken any steps to make arrangements. One thing she was adamant about was this: no last rites and no rituals. She advised us to help those in need, rather than spend it on expensive rituals. My family was furious but I am sure Mom would have been proud of me for standing up to them, thanks to Sury’s support.

That mental resolve literally attracted the help I needed to organize her body donation with a prestigious medical college. Everything went smoothly. I kept seeing her smiling, peaceful face. I was grateful. I couldn’t imagine what we would have done had we not been able to carry out her last wish. It was a scary thought.

[box] You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. Kahlil Gibran[/box]

When I am gone, I don’t want those I leave behind to worry about how to carry out my own last wish, that of harvesting my organs to give life to others. So I am relieved that I was able to participate in the organ donation form organized by the Times of India group – they made it so easy to do it. I am told that I will receive an acknowledgment via email and also a donor card in a few weeks.

I am very happy I could do this.

What are your plans?

Will you donate your organs?

Will you give the gift of life?

Here are some facts about organ donation

[box] Organ donation is the process of a person donating their organs for transplant. These are given to someone with damaged organs that need to be replaced.[/box]

An organ transplant can save a person’s life, or help someone improve their health and quality of life.

You can be an organ donor no matter how old you are. Age doesn’t matter. What matters is your physical condition. The healthcare professional will decide which organs and tissue are suitable. Organs and tissue transplants from people in their 70s and 80s have been very successful.

The most common organs with long wait lists are the kidneys, heart, lungs or liver transplant. One, just one organ donor can help several people simply because she can donate several organs, including:

kidneys
liver
heart
lungs
small bowel
pancreas

Tissues that can be donated include:

the cornea (the transparent layer at the front of the eye)
bone
skin
heart valves
tendons
cartilage

You can choose which organs and tissues you wish to donate.

Do it. Save a life. Or seven.

In India http://apps.facebook.com/organdonationday​
In the UK http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/how_to_become_a_donor/
In Australia
In Canada https://beadonor.ca/
In the USA http://donatelife.net/register-now/

Update:

I will be publishing the post with responses to the question ““What is the one thing you would like to be remembered for?”  on Sunday, August 11, 2013. If you’ve authored an uplifting book or would like to recommend one, please let me know, with book title, a small blurb and link along with your answer to the question via the comments here, or via email (vidya at vidyasury dot com). Thanks!

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Sandra Pawula
    August 10, 2013 at 12:34 am

    This is so inspiring, Vidya. I love how you shared your mother’s story and gave us all the details of the process. Letting go of the body is one of the hardest things to do. We are so obsessed with it. This act can help loosen our attachment and help us remember we are not our body, it’s just like a hotel room for a temporary state.
    Sandra Pawula recently posted…An Inspirational MomentMy Profile

  • Reply
    Debbie
    August 10, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Yes, Vidya thank you for sharing your story. It was a wonderful thing your mother did.

    I am not an organ donor, but I have told my family that if something happens to me, I have know problem with this.

    I have to be honest here. I do not totally trust the medical field when it comes to this. When my husband was in his early 20’s he had a motorcyle accident. The doctor told his parents that he would not live. And if he did he would be a vegetable. (It was a brain injury) He was in a coma for 6 weeks. When it comes to stories like this I am not sure whether they would consider me dead and want to use my organs.

    I know that they can tell if you are brain dead, but at the same time, if any given doctor was paid enough for those organs what would he or she do?

    So in the end I am leaving it to my surviving family member if I am brain dead. No problem if they are sure that I am dead and gone.

    That my take on the situtation.
    Debbie
    Debbie recently posted…Can We Really Trust The Blog ‘Scary Mommy’?My Profile

  • Reply
    jidhujose
    August 10, 2013 at 3:31 am

    I signed here in Qatar for Organ donation
    jidhujose recently posted…Blogger Interview # 99 : Menaka BharathidasanMy Profile

  • Reply
    Elle
    August 10, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Great and inspiring story Vidya. And your quotes were brilliantly in keeping. Your love and admiration for your mum is always evident when you write about her and I know how hard it is to ‘let go’ of our mums.

    Kudos to you both, your mum for choosing what she wanted after she was gone and your persistence in making sure her wishes were fulfilled.
    Elle recently posted…11 Do’s And Don’ts To Get Motivated…And Stay ThereMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mary Stephenson
    August 10, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Hi Vidya

    Here in California, USA we just check a box on our driver’s license. There is a little round pink circle that has the word DONOR on it, that they put on your card. They sent you a new card and it is on there, very simple.

    As organs need to be transplanted quickly after death, this is a great way to relieve the task for the family to decide.

    Back in 1970 or it might have been 1971 my 93 year old grandfather died. He had arranged years before his death to have his body donated to the university.

    My parents had their remains cremated and instead of flowers donate to cancer research.

    I am all for donating and cremating. Why waste what others can use and have a grave that either no one visits or feels obligated to visit.

    I tell my husband when I die, have a party. Serve chocolate and bring out my artwork. Far too much money wasted on funerals and far too many tears.

    Mary
    Mary Stephenson recently posted…Why Men Should Carry Clean HankiesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kalpana Solsi
    August 10, 2013 at 9:24 am

    A very inspiring story , Vidya and I salute your mother for her noble decision. But I agree with Debbie.
    But organ donation is the need of the hour and precious surviving lives have to addressed to. I am against organ selling even though am fully aware of the illegal thriving market.

  • Reply
    Rachna
    August 10, 2013 at 9:45 am

    So proud of you. Thank you for sharing the details. I also did it and it felt really good. <3
    Rachna recently posted…Routine is comfortingMy Profile

  • Reply
    afshan
    August 10, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    thanks for this info and link. Will think on this
    I read on FB and missed the link too … By the way it was so uplifting to read that u stood for ur mom. She must have been so glad to know that
    Hats off to u

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    August 10, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    LOVE! LOVE!

    I am an organ donor and so was Kay…
    she lives on in several people. As you know,
    we’ve met Ed (the man who has her Lungs)

    I am a GREAT advocate of Organ Donation.

    What I don’t get…it why one would NOT want to donate.

    Thanks for promoting, loving, encouraging, living your life to the fullest degree.

    Your mommy is proud of you, dearest.

    Love you more than melted hot chocolate on vanilla ice-cream. xxx
    My Inner Chick recently posted…Fire From WithinMy Profile

  • Reply
    Betsy/Zen Mama
    August 11, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Vidya,
    I I have it on my driver’s license that I will be an organ donor if it ever comes to that. And most people I know have done the same thing. My father in law was the recipient of a heart 10 years ago. He had three more quality years for his grandchildren to get to know him better. A good friend, too, is the recipient of a liver and has been alive 11 years! Pretty amazing. Your post if terrific!
    Betsy/Zen Mama recently posted…Do You Think Above the Line Or Below?My Profile

  • Reply
    Vishnu
    August 11, 2013 at 1:22 am

    hi Vidya – enjoyed reading the experience with your mother – especially how she lived for 12 more years after the diagnosis. As well as thank you for carrying out her wishes and standing strong to put her body to help others.

    THis is the ultimate decision about attachment – can we let go in death:) Most of us can’t. I’m also in California and have signed up to donate my organs in case something happens but not counting on that in the near future:)

    Thanks for sharing the advice on organ donation.

  • Reply
    privytrifles
    August 11, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Loved loved loved this one Vidya this is truly inspiring and yes would love to do that soon 🙂
    privytrifles recently posted…Metro Diaries – Mirror, mirror on the wallMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      August 15, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Thank you, Saurabh! What a wonderful thing to do!

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