My friend's grandmother, who within a few weeks will turn 100 years old!, is blessedly still 'sharp,' as we say. Though physically frail and wheelchair bound, she maintains her ability to engage in spirited conversations with her granddaughter—sometimes to the frustration of my friend.
Ten years ago, Nana, as she is affectionately called by her family, was having one such spirited conversation with my friend. The topic was organ donation. Yes, organ donation—-at 90 years old. Don't ask HOW the topic came up! While gently and delicately trying to point out to her that perhaps her 90 year old organs would not be an organ registry's "top pick," shall we say, my friend never expected Nana to assert, "They kill you." Nana went on to explain that the recent celebrity who had received a heart and liver from a deceased 35 y/o motorcycle rider got them because the motorcycle rider was killed for his organs.
As my mother used to say, "You're talking nonsense," but Nana would have none of her granddaughter's reality-based assertions to the contrary. No, she was not going to sign up to be an organ donor (again, at 90) because that would mean she would be on the 'hit list' and she fully intended to continue living.
While I appreciate Nana considering to be an organ donor at her seasoned age, I am disappointed to hear her rationale for not being one. Continued education about organ donation must be done so that myths like "They kill you for your organs" can be dispelled.
As Nana prepares for her 100th birthday, I am grateful for her continued ability to engage in conversation, however baffling her views are about organ donation. Happy Birthday, Nana.
Just this past Thursday, I became an Organ Donor at the age of 58. Like Nana, I had some concerns about having the “plug pulled too soon” if I was seriously injured. After many discussions and having loved ones struggle with health issues I’ve realized that I’ve been very selfish. I now believe that since I’ve been given a gift of good health it is my responsibility to share that gift when it’s time for me to leave this world. (I will only need my glove, ball and bat).
However, at any age, I have asked my loved ones “please don’t pull the plug too soon.”