Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not Right

God gained another angel yesterday. A little boy, just two weeks shy of his first birthday, died of liver disease yesterday while waiting for his transplant.

So many people don't understand, and I get asked a specific question so often: WHY? Why, with all of the technological advances, are children waiting on the transplant list instead of doing living donor?

Many times, it's near to impossible to find a good match for your child. Can you imagine the stress of knowing your child needs a liver, and that no one in your family might be a match? Or that you are a match, but you can't donate because you're needed as the primary care giver? Yes, transplant teams will deny a person as the donor for that reason - and with GOOD reason for it.

So many children wait on the transplant list, getting sicker and sicker, especially because the list just doesn't work for some kids. The more a child weighs, the "healthier" they seem - regardless that two pounds of weight might be fluid accumulation (like in Anthony's case). Transplant teams apply for exception points, but sometimes they're denied. And sometimes those exception points mean the child is just so, so sick.

And let's not forget the fact that an infection will render the child unable to receive a transplant. While certain infections are coursing through the child's body, they CAN'T be transplanted. Their immune systems will be so stunted after the transplant that they will be unable to fight whatever infection they had before the transplant. This happened to Anthony - he had pneumonia and had to be inactivated on the list until he cleared it. That took a week, and in that time an offer for a liver came for him and had to be turned down.

There is a fine balance between being sick enough to warrant a transplant, and staying healthy enough to receive that transplant. This sweet child who died yesterday lost that balance. His body couldn't maintain that "just healthy enough" status.

I've been around long enough now in this liver world - but it never gets easier when a child dies. I feel the loss terribly. I try not to let it show on the outside because my family doesn't need to be affected by this. I just couldn't hold it in any more today.

Please consider signing up to be an organ donor. Please hug your children tight. Please pray for all of these families, who have known loss way too early.

Please: don't take your organs to heaven. Heaven knows we need them here.


Just Me said...

So sad to hear of a child passing away while waiting for organs. It definitely is "not right". While often the post-transplant road is very difficult, the unknown of if there will be "post-transplant life" is probably even harder.

Praying for Gavin's family, and for all those touched by his life, and his story.

Take care.

Colby Kids said...

Beautifully put.