Lois M. Collins: In death, an organ donor saved my family's life

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  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 13, 2013 6:53 p.m.

    I just asked a doctor and she said it depends upon what medications you are taking. Mine is an immuno-suppresant that would not be good at all for someone already in trouble. She said there is some reluctance to use some organs from older people because they may be "worn out." But again, that depends on some other factors.

    In short, she said, ask your own physician because we are all different.

    I learned a few things today, too.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    March 13, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    one old man - up until last April I was giving blood on a regular basis. Then I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. So I got that taken care of in November. A friend and colleague who had the same thing 3 years ago tells me the blood bank "officially" says you have to be cancer free for 5 years but "unofficially" they say it is a shorter time. So I'll check with them. So far so good!

  • DixieM Layton, UT
    March 13, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    Thank you Lois for sharing your family's experience. Organ transplant affects not only the recipient's life, but the life of everyone who cares about that person. I'm so glad your girls still have their father.

    I do want to clear up a common misconception. You could still be eligible to donate organs even if you are not able to donate blood. Please do not rule yourself out as an organ donor based on your ability to donate blood or the medications you take. People have the potential to be an organ donor up to about age 80. In fact the oldest organ donor in the U.S. was a 92 year old who was able to donate a liver. Visit the Utah Donor Registry to learn more about organ donation.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 13, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    ECR - check with your local blood bank. If you are not eligible to donate blood or plasma, your organs probably cannot be used. Or ask your doctor.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    March 13, 2013 5:52 a.m.

    Thank you, Lois, for sharing this heartwarming story. I'm so happy that you and your family were spared from the heartbrake that many feel each day with the premature loss of a loved one.

    And thanks to "one old man" for raising an issue about organ docnation. I have established myself as an organ donor on my driver's license but I am also one of those "who are older or may be taking medications that prevent us from becoming organ donors." I'm not sure what the definition of "older " is in this case but I am in my 60th year on earth and I take a fist full of pills each day that do a variety of things to prolong my life. I'll have to check that situation out.

    Thanks to both of you.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 12, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    Some of us who are older or may be taking medications that prevent us from becoming organ donors, may also consider bequeathing our bodies to the medical school's cadaver lab. It's a simple process that can be accomplished easily. We who are potential donors carry a small wallet card that instructs our wishes when the time comes.

    Although it may seem somewhat macabre, it is a vital part of teaching future doctors and others who will enter health professions. I was a teacher most of my life, and when I finally head for Valhalla, I will be able to teach a little longer.

    And it will save my family the cost of a funeral.