“Don’t think of organ donations as giving up a part of yourself to keep a total stranger alive. It’s really a total stranger giving up almost all of themselves to keep a part of you alive” – Anonymous.
Everyone in this world is born with the power to give life.
In May 2012, at the age of 22 months, Mackenzy Jane Woolfsmith gave the gift of life. She donated her heart, liver and kidneys.
“Sitting in the hospital, we never imagined how helpful organ donation would be in the grief that was to come. Regardless of how dark the days were, I always had the knowledge that she saved four other children’s’ lives.” said Jane Woolfsmith. “It’s a wonderful feeling to tell others about Mackenzy’s gift.”
“How incredible [it is] that her precious heart – the heart that we once listened to inside my belly – could have been flown across the country, so that it could answer the prayers of another mother desperate to save her baby’s life.”
She added “There are so many aspects of organ donation that I had never considered before we lived it. We didn’t appreciate how many people it took for successful transplants to occur. How incredible [it is] that her precious heart – the heart that we once listened to inside my belly – could have been flown across the country, so that it could answer the prayers of another mother desperate to save her baby’s life.”
If she can donate at the age of 22 months, why can’t you?
According to Health Canada, in 2014, in Canada, over 4500 people were waiting for organ transplant out of which 2356 organs were transplanted. A total of 278 people died while waiting for a transplant.
Every 36 hours a Canadian dies without the donation of an organ. The waiting time for the organ transplant today is an average of four years, depending on the type of the organ required.
About one per cent of Canadians who die in hospital donate an organ. It works out to about 15 per million – about half the rate of countries such as Spain (34 per million) and the United States, at 26 per million.
About one third of organs that could be donated are lost because potential donors didn’t make their families aware of their wishes.
Most of the organs can be donated after death but you can donate certain organs while you’re still alive: one kidney, part of the liver, and a lobe of the lung.
According to Statistics Canada, the share of persons aged 65 years and older will continue to increase and should account for 20.1% of the population on July 1, 2024. This will increase the demand of organ donation in future.
Let us pledge to say ‘YES’ to organ donation.
To become an organ donor in Manitoba, in addition to informing your family of your wishes, you should sign a donor card and carry it with your health card. Donor cards are available from Manitoba Health’s website or by calling 204-787-1897.
To know more visit Manitoba Health.