Chopped Liver - A Community for Live Organ Donors and Recipients
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Mind you, this might sting a bit...
Overdue and obviously called for: the U.S. government has adopted a set of basic standards that transplant centers must follow with live donors, including full disclosure of risks, clarifying to the donor that he/she can back out at any time, and providing a knowledgeable donor advocate MD who is not part of the transplant team. (Thanks, Carol, for sending the news from St. Louis.) Yea, government!
Joe's and my fabulous transplant team at Northwestern Memorial Hospital did everything right without being told they had to back in January '06 when we went through this. My donor advocate was a general practitioner who was not affiliated with the transplant team or even the hepatology unit. Granted, he was a minor character in my story, forgettable, like the Ted "the Lackey" on Scrubs, but the point is I was examined medically (complete physical) and cleared for donation by a doctor with no conflict of interest, and I was welcomed to contact that doctor with any questions or concerns, any time.
As for explaining the risks, well, yes, please, and thank you! Because it does hurt for a while, and there are real risks to consider. Now if only the Feds would mandate that hospitals recommend Chopped Liver to all potential live donors. Is that too much to ask?
In yesterday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, columnist Sylvester Brown, Jr. writes a very sweet story about Theresa, who had just completed a (so-far) successful liver donation for an infant named Megan who was a stranger to her. I appreciated how he captured honestly some of the ups and downs that both sides went through in the process leading up to the surgery. Theresa and Megan are doing well so far, he reports. You can read the story here. My thoughts and well wishes to both families!
In January 2006 I successfully donated half my liver to my brother, Joe. This blog began in November 2005, when I was just a hopeful donor candidate, and continues today as a vehicle for sharing my experience and building community among past, current, and would-be live organ donors and transplant recipients. Thank you for stopping by. All content on this blog, including images and text unless otherwise cited, is copyright (c) 2005-2007, Becky Waller. All rights reserved.
In 2007 I founded the Greatest Gift Foundation, which provides information and support to living organ donors throughout their transplant experience. I'm in Minneapolis, when I'm not traveling the country meeting with transplant teams. Contact us at email@example.com.