This week is National Transplant Week, and I’ve just changed my profile picture in support of the campaign (see here to do the same) and I thought it a perfect opportunity to share the outcome of Abi’s organ donation. Continue reading “National Transplant Week – Abi’s organ donation update”
These words were hard to write (just a month after Abi died last year), and I expect are just as hard to read. But talking about dying matters to me.
I know there are other parents going through this every day – saying goodbye to their baby or child, whatever age, whether expected or not.
No matter what brings them to this day, at the very end, they will only die once and, as much as I am more likely now to remember the happier days with my daughter, her life, I feel her death was also a significant moment that should not be forgotten simply because it is too painful to remember. I share this experience knowing that, right now, a parent is going through the same heartache. I hope they find this and it brings them comfort knowing they’re not alone.
In my last post I talked about our decision to donate Abi’s organs. Having been informed by the consultant that recipients had been found we next spoke to the organ donation team. They updated us on the final things they needed to do.
It was around 6.30am. The staff were quiet and respectful. The consultant apologised when she told us that there would be a further delay of an hour as a baby had just been rushed into the theatre unexpectedly. But we were okay with this. It was still dark outside. We didn’t want Abi to pass away in the dark, she was a morning, sunny girl. So we said that about 8am would be our preference, when the sun was coming up and the dusky gloom had lifted…
As Dying Matters Week draws to a close, I wanted to share with you my personal experience of organ donation. It’s vital we feel able to talk about aspects of death like this. I have shared, in quite some detail, the process that is necessary in order to donate organs to another – a dilemma we were faced with when Abi died (so grab a coffee and a tissue!). If you are considering joining the organ donation register, you may find this post useful. It contains details of the steps involved and how complex the process is, which was something we certainly never realised until we were there.
Abi had collapsed into a coma following a sudden brain haemorrhage at home. The prognosis wasn’t good but the brilliant neuro surgeons at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol operated on her anyway the same night; she had just a 5% chance of survival at that point, but any percentage was enough to give us a slim hope.
I heard on the news today that – shock, surprise – people don’t like talking about death!
This type of ‘research’ irritates me.
Of course we don’t like talking about death and our mortality. It’s depressing for a start, not to mention bringing up painful emotions, or making us realise we’re not getting any younger.
I can recall rolling my eyes at my husband for wanting to sort out our life insurance, booooring! Why can’t we talk about holidays instead? We only wrote our wills a couple of years ago, with three children at that point we felt it probably about time. If I’m honest, it wasn’t nearly as depressing a task as I thought, in fact it felt quite good to know my children were protected should we die while they still needed us to care for them.