I was having a conversation with R.J tonight about organ donation. I was watching an episode of The Real Housewives of New York (a truly thought-provoking program) and heard the story of one of the women whose son, who received a liver transplant as a child, had a donor who upon his death saved 50 lives.
And it made me wonder: am I going to be of use to anybody when I’m dead?
Like not in a spiritual way. In a way like I have really nice skin and someone with burns could get a lot of mileage out of my skin. (Sounded way less creepy in my head.)
But with POTS, Primary Immune Deficiency, Hypersomnia, Gastroparesis and all the wear and tear that go with these diseases–would anybody even accept my body parts?
I did some searching and found that the criteria for donor candidates. They should be:
- in good physical and mental health.
- free from high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, HIV, hepatitis, or organ-specific diseases.
- at least 18 years old.
I’m hesitant to check myself off at #1. I may not be in good physical health but not all of my organs are affected by my disease. I need contact lenses but my eyes are decent. My liver tests are normal and so is my pancreas. Despite the gastroparesis, my intestines might work just fine in someone who doesn’t have a corrupted vagas nerve. Tissue–bone marrow. I’m just not ready to say I’m down for the count without really knowing.
So can you help me get the facts?
- Can people with Immune Deficiency Disease (PIDD, CVID, etc.) still donate blood and organs?
- Can people with POTS or other diseases like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and narcolepsy still donate blood and organs?
- And if you have a multitude of drugs in your system (and I take 11 medications each day) would you still be able to donate blood/organs?
If you might know someone who can answer these questions I’d really appreciate it.
- Lauren French shared this good resource. A checklist from the red cross: http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements/eligibility-criteria-alphabetical-listing
- I posed the original question in a way that might have been confusing. Interested in knowing both what a LIVE donor can donate and what a DEAD donor can donate.