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Women's Health

Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
3404 W. Sylvania Avenue
Toledo, OH 43623
419-407-1616

Mercy Women's Care at St. Charles
Navarre Medical Plaza
2702 Navarre Avenue
Suite 101
Oregon, OH 43616
696-7900

Mercy Women's Care at St. V's
2213 Cherry Street
Toledo, OH 43608
419-251-4340

What it Means to be a Donor

separator We all like to think that we’ve made a difference in the world. When you donate blood, tissue or organs, you’re giving the gift of life. Not only that, you’re giving the gift of health to someone who may have been sick for a long time. There’s nothing more precious than that. 

People who are the recipients of organ donations talk about feeling a special bond with their donor. Remember, most people who receive new organs have spent a long time, sometimes years, in poor health. People who have had kidney failure, for example, have most likely been spending three or four days a week at a dialysis center, where they’re hooked to machines that remove their blood, purify it of toxins and replace it in the body. Dialysis itself can be exhausting to these patients. Imagine spending four days a week, year in and year out, living your life in that way. 

People who have heart transplants may have reached the point where taking even a few steps makes them feel exhausted. They live their lives hoping against hope that one day, their name will be the one at the top of the list and they’ll get the call that there’s a heart available for them. 

Once they’ve had their transplant, people seem to be changed by the experience. They often celebrate the anniversary of their transplants and stay in touch with the healthcare team that performed the surgery. And they often say they’ll never forget the person who made it all possible—the donor whose life ended on the day their new life began. 

Many people feel that there’s a deep spiritual aspect to being part of organ donation. Families of donors have said that although it was tragic to lose their loved one, it’s rewarding and touching to think that part of that person lives on in someone else. In some cases, organs and tissue can go to several different people—a heart to someone who hasn’t been able to walk across the room, a cornea to someone who’s going blind, a kidney to someone who’s been on dialysis for years. 

Most families of donors learn the age, gender, occupation and other characteristics of the person or people who received organs or tissue from their loved one. If the donor’s family and the recipient both agree, they can exchange names, correspond and even meet, if they wish. Many donor families who meet the recipient in person are extremely touched to see just how meaningful their loved one’s decision has been to someone who is getting a second chance at life and health. 

For more information about organ donation, ask your doctor what you need to do to get started. Or you can visit Web site of the United Network for Organ Sharing http://www.unos.org/ or the U.S. Government’s Web site for Organ Donation http://www.organdonor.gov/.

Source:
United Network for Organ Sharing http://www.unos.org/ or the U.S. Government’s Web site for Organ Donation http://www.organdonor.gov/.



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