I’ve received quite a few comments in relation to Stephanie being an organ donor. It has done me a lot of good to hear the impact that this has on people. Stephanie always said, “Well, why wouldn’t I donate them? It’s not like I need them anymore.” I always felt the same way. I found out that only 3% of people pass away in such a manner that they are able to donate their organs. I’ve mentioned it before, but this is typical for Stephanie – if there’s a small percentage of chance for something medically, Stephanie will fit into that percentage.
She was also a “full donor,” which is also rare. Because she was young and very healthy (sadly, not in the way we needed), she was able to donate virtually everything. What surprised us the most was her heart, which we were told was in better shape that probably everyone else in the room. That confuses me, as it was the halted beating of her heart that took her from me. Even her intestines were donated (along with her liver to one person, if I’m not mistaken), which I’m told is a difficult organ to find a donor.
Anyway, I’m so glad for being able to do this, even as gut-wrenching as it was to even be able to make that decision. I also feel for those people receiving organs, as they are no doubt aware how it is they are receiving them. I have to imagine that is a horrible position in which to be.
On a related note, a full class of neurology students were able to come into the ICU before Stephanie donated to get to learn from her. Stephanie and I both had our moments of students coming in to see our cases (I had extreme ingrown toenails and she had extreme allergies). Anyway, I know we were both always glad for that opportunity and Stephanie was very big on that type of thing. The LifeBanc representative knew my feelings on this, and I’m grateful she asked about it. I’m hoping to hear some helpful results from the autopsy, as well, maybe even something that will help other epilepsy patients and/or my kids.