Friday, April 29, 2011

Death Exchanged for Life...

If you read yesterday's Life with Lynnie (LwL) entry, you'll know that my friend J, who lives in Texas, USA received a call to go to the hospital, as a potential donor was available to provide her with lungs necessary for a transplant she required.

Prayer for J went up to heaven BIG TIME!  This opportunity would have been of no benefit to J, had the donor not been a match.

Several hours after J left for hospital, we were told that the donor was indeed a match; a perfect match!  Believe me when I say I praised God and thanked Jesus!

Not knowing for sure the exact time J would be scheduled for surgery, prayer continued.  Not just for J, though.

I knew that the donor's family truly needed prayer.

Again, I requested prayer from others, but this time for the donor's family.  Anyone who has not been through a situation like this, may have a hard time understanding the harsh reality.

If you aren't aware or have not been a long time reader of LwL, you might not know that my husband Gordon died, just over 18 months ago.  Gordon had been registered with the Ontario government, here in Canada, as a donor.

Not wanting to revisit my husband's death or the circumstances surrounding it, I will just let you know that the hospital planned to pull the plug and force my husband's death.  After notifying me and some other family members of this, I was then approached by the team of people who co-ordinate transplants.

The team members explained procedures involved in the process and reveiewed paperwork that I had to sign, in order for them to be able to proceed harvesting Gordon's kidneys. 

Then, as agreed, they verified that Gordon was not a match for either of my brothers who were dialysis patients, nor was he a match for another friend on dialysis. 

I was told that a transport team would shortly be on their way from London, ON, and would have to arrive here in Windsor, before they could harvest Gordon's kidneys.  Knowing the drive was at least two (2) hours, I knew Gordon would remain on life support for at least that length of time.

They explained to me that they do not wait for the donor to die, before harvesting organs.  In fact, it cannot be done, once the person has died. 

They explained further that once the transport team arrived, they would allow me and others to say our final goodbye to Gordon, while he was still alive.  He would then be taken to an operating room, where his organs would be harvested.  Then, they would shut off life-support and he would die.

When I tell you this was a crushing reality, I mean it was truly crushing to me.  Maybe you've heard this before, but I had never understood this.  The thought of the whole procedure broke my heart.  Yet, I knew it was necessary.

In Gordon's case, harvesting never took place.  There was delay after delay, after delay in getting the transport team into Windsor.  Eventually, a team from Toronto was going to fly to Windsor. 

One last check on him, before giving final okay for the plane to leave Toronto airport, showed that Gordon's kidneys had begun to fail.  By the time the transport team would arrive, they would be in worsened condition.  So, the transplant harvesting plan was cancelled.

The hospital proceeded with removing my husband from life-support; he died.

This is how I know that the donor's family truly needs prayer.  After all, at the very least, they would be grieving the loss of their loved one. 

Melancholy is the only way to describe the feeling, knowing that your loved one will die, yet may give life to another person.  Happy.  Yet, sad.

The ultimate happiness that is felt, is knowing that someone else will have a gift of life, as in this case with my friend J.  I'm sure this will help the donor's family through their grief.

Still, prayer is warranted.  Please pray for total, restorative healing for my friend, J.  In addition, please find it in your heart to pray for the donor's family, as they will need all the grace from God they can receive, in order to come to terms with their loss and the heartbreak they have suffered.  Thank you.  May God bless you, always.

Since there is still more to be said, please be patient with me.  I will continue, tomorrow.

Until next time...

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