•Become an Organ Donor•

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Erika continues to do well and has been making it part of her daily routine to take a long walk and keep her new lungs fresh and working. It’s not her lungs or difficulty breathing that slows her down, but rather the pain from her incisions. This is improving and will continue to improve with time, but for now she’ll have to limit what her healthy lungs can do until the rest of her body catches up. Tomorrow she has her first outpatient appointment since her hospital discharge and will complete pulmonary function tests (PFTs) as part of her visit. She’s been doing this her entire life and they are used to track her lung function over time. She did this test before leaving the hospital and she was a little nervous about it. Getting her new lungs to work well is something she’s had to get used to. Like a driving a new car (sorta). She’s not as confident in how to make these lungs respond during the test since she has never done the test without her old lungs. This is all part of the process. Doing her PFTs also caused her some significant discomfort because she is pushing her lungs to their peak performance and having to use areas of her body during the test which are still very tender from her surgery. Thoughts and prayers for continued improvement in her numbers and minimal pain are appreciated as always.

Throughout this process Erika has made it very clear that she wants to raise awareness for organ donation. If you are not already a donor, please consider becoming one. If you have hesitations I would encourage you to reconsider. I have included some myths and facts about organ donation from the HRSA website, and also the link to click where you can sign up to be an donor. In addition I have included a fact sheet about organ donation with some statistics that I found to be eye opening. The fact sheet is from the Iowa Donor Network (hence the Iowa statistic) but absolutely applies nationwide.

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Myth: I have a medical condition so I can’t be a donor. 
Fact: Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor. The transplant team will determine at an individual’s time of death whether organ donation is possible. Even with an illness, you may be able to donate organs or tissues.

Myth: If they see I’m an organ donor at the hospital, they won’t try to save my life. 
Fact: When you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the one and only priority is to save your life. Period. Donation doesn’t become a possibility until all life saving measures have failed.

Myth: My family won’t be able to have an open casket funeral. 
Fact: An open casket funeral is usually poi’s me for organ, eye, and tissues donors. Through the entire process, the body is treated with care, respect, and dignity.

Myth: If I am I a coma, they could take my organs. 
Fact: The majority of deceased organ donors are patients who have been declared brain dead. But brain death is NOT the same as coma. People can recover from comas, but not from brain death. Brain death is final.

Myth: I’m too old to be a donor. 
Fact: There is no age limit to organ donation. To date, the oldest donor in the U.S. was age 93. What matters is the health and condition of your organs when you die.

Myth: Rich or famous people on the waiting list get organs faster.
Fact: A national computer system matches donated organs to recipients. The factors used in matching include blood type, time spent waiting, other important medical information, how sick the person is, and geographic location. Race, income, and celebrity are NEVER considered.

Myth: My family will have to pay for the organ donation. 
Fact: There is no cost to donors or their families for organ or tissue donation.

Myth: I don’t think my religion supports donation. 
Fact: Most major religions in the United States support organ donation and consider donation as the final act of love and generosity towards others.

Myth: People in the LGBT community can’t donate.
Fact: There is no policy or federal regulation that excludes a member of the LGBT community from donating organs. What matters in donating organs is the health of the organs.

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