|Organ demand far surpasses supply|
|Thursday, April 17, 2014 8:09 PM|
BY NANCY SPENCER
At least 3,400 Ohioans await a life-saving transplant alongside 120,000 nationwide.
These were the sobering statistics brought to Jefferson and St. John’s freshmen Thursday by double-lung transplant recipient Amber Payne, Lifeline of Ohio Organ Procurement Coordinator Jackie Hines and St. Rita’s Medical Center ICU Manager and Critical Care Nurse Deann Heiing.
Hines said the group was targeted for a specific reason.
“They are getting ready to get those driver’s licenses and we are encouraging them to be an organ donor and have that sticker placed on there,” Hines said.
April is also Organ Donor Awareness month.
Students learned what organs and tissue can be donated and under what circumstances. Transplantable organs include: heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestines. Tissues that can be donated are: bone, cartilage, heart valves, veins, skin, fascia, soft tissue and corneas. One donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to 50 people.
For organ donation, the person is declared brain dead but their heart is still be beating, circulating blood and vital oxygen to organs. The donor cannot have a current or recent uncured cancer or an overwhelming infection or be HIV positive. Gender and race do not come in to play but for the lungs, liver and heart, the size of the donor needs to be comparative to the recipient.
As transplantation of hearts, kidneys, lungs, pancreas and livers has emerged as the preferred and most successful treatment of many life-threatening diseases, the need for these life-saving gifts has increased.
To bring the message a little closer to home, 28-year-old Payne told her story.
“I am a double-lung transplant recipient,” she said. “I was 19 years old when the doctor told me I had to leave college, come home, lie in bed for 10 months with a feeding tube and oxygen and wait on a donor or die. I couldn’t walk across a room.
“Instead of planning my wedding I planned my funeral. I didn’t want my parents burdened with that. Today, I’m married, I finished college, I have a good job, I like to ride bikes with my husband and I feel good.”
Payne was diagnosed with the cystic fibrosis at 2 months old and told at 16, she would need a transplant to survive. She still has cystic fibrosis but since the lung transplant, it now affects her sinuses. She has surgery about every three years.
“I still have it but it doesn’t affect my lungs because they aren’t genetically mine,” she added.
Looking healthy and fit, Payne looked at students and asked them if they had ever thought they or someone they love might some day need an organ transplant.
“I’m here today because someone said yes when asked if they wanted to be a donor,” the Wapakoneta native said. “If you ever have someone you love who needs a transplant to survive, you will want someone to say yes. If we all say yes, more people’s lives will be saved. Eighteen people die every day and they all have a story and families who love them like me.”
An Organ Donor Dash will be held at 11:08 a.m. April 27 at St. John’s Annex. Registration is at 10 a.m. The cost is $18 for an organ donor with a T-Shirt and $15 with no shirt; and $20 for a non-donor and $17 with no shirt by Tuesday or $20 the day of the race for everyone with no shirt guarantee. Checks are payable to Deann Heiing. Send payment and registration to 501 E. Third St., Delphos OH 45833; or return to ICU, St. Rita’s Medical Center.
Medals will be give for the top three finishers in each age bracket.