For many people, organ transplantations are just something we occasionally read about in the news, if at all. (Of course, a donor heart being given to a former vice president always makes the news.) But for the team at Guardian Nurses, organ transplantations are a much greater part of our day to day reality. We receive referrals monthly involving organ recipients' issues with insurance coverage or prescription coverage post-transplant. And every now and then, we get to work with a patient who is pre-transplant.
Such was the case several months ago when we were introduced to a middle aged woman who, because of a virus that attacked her liver, needed a liver transplant. Prior to her becoming ill, she had been an engaging, warm, and humorous woman. Over the few months that she waited for a liver, her strength was sapped from her, but her warmth and humor remained (albeit experienced less frequently).
And even when she had gotten the liver, and then experienced severe complications from the transplant, she continued to stay positive and upbeat for as long as she could.
We found out that she died last week and our hearts broke for her, for her family, and for the donor family, wherever they are. To have someone you love donate his/her organ so that someone else can live is the ultimate gift. And one prays that that gift brings a longer life to the recipient.
In this case, it wasn't to be. Our condolences are offered to both donor and recipient families. And our thanks go to the donor, regardless of the outcome.