Thursday, February 23, 2006

I remember a family of a brain dead patient that I was involved with. I spent two days with them, helping them to understand brain death, making sure that they were getting the correct information from the hospital and giving them emotional support. I hadn't yet asked them about donation. Sometime during the second day I took the daughter aside and asked her what she thought and if she thought her dad would agree to it. They had been married 54 years. The daughter thought organ donation was a great idea. Finally, the time came to bring the family together and ask the patient's husband if he would donate her organs. He really wanted to, he said, but she had been through so many operations already, he couldn't put her through one more. He understood brain death, he knew she was gone, but he couldn't do it. Let someone else donate, he told me.

I've also listened to the pleas of a mom whose 11 year old daughter died waiting for a lung transplant. Why won't they say yes? she told an audience of transplant professionals.

When I first started this blog(a whole 8 posts ago), first I thought it would just be a way for me to blow off steam. My job's pretty stressful at times. At best, I thought a few other transplant coordinators might read it and chime in. Now I see that there's this whole, big blogosphere out there. I realize I need to be a little more responsible in what I write. Holy moly, I just found a link for Dr. Andy's Grand Rounds on Medscape. Yikes! And I remembered that to a lot of people, medical professionals and lay people alike, don't really know what goes into making transplants happen. I realize a few posts might sound callous. It's hard to get frustrated in the world of medicine and I'm a very impatient person to boot. So for the next couple of posts I think I'm going to write on just what it is I do and why it's so important to make donation happen.


geena said...


By all means, keep writing!!! I have always found it fascinating when the transplant network comes to manage my patient and am always willing to take those patients. I can't imagine what goes into trying to get someone to donate their loved one's organs. I know some people agree right away, but there's so much emotion and conflict between family members... It's a difficult situation.

I have never seen a blog written by a transplant coordinator and I think this one has the potential to be absolutely awesome, educational, and informative. You write well and have much to offer.

I have always considered being a coordinator, but haven't yet had the guts to give up my job and start anew in another field. I would love to read more about what you do and look forward to doing so.

btw... Did you get to ipecac aperitif through codeblog? :-)

TC said...

I did, and I love ipecac aperitif. In fact, I think his little daughter is so cute that sometimes I feel like a stalker! (I'm not, though, I got my own little pooter-bug at home) Thanks for the kind words. I think it IS fascinating and important work and that's the kind of job I always wanted.