My Position

Kayla Sherry

My position is that I am for organ donation.

My fiancť, Alanís family was in a terrible car accident one year ago. We got a call at 8am on Friday and Alanís dad, Bruce told us that on the way back from Texas, Barry, Adam and the boyís mother were in a car accident and that Adam wasnít responding. Neither one of us knew what to do; the doctorís at BrianLGH werenít telling us details until we arrived in Lincoln, NB near where the accident happened. After Bruce, got there we learned more. Adam was in critical condition and if his Inter-Cranial Pressure (ICP) got over a 13 he would be a vegetable. Overnight his ICP rose over 150, we were then told that he is practically brain dead, there was no hope even if they got the ICP back down. The only thing we could do was wait and hope for a miracle. The doctorís then decided to discuss organ donation.

Adam was a prime candidate, 13 years old and in good health with an uncommon blood type and brain dead, which meant his heart was still beating and his heart could be donated. After long family discussions, and talking to the priest about his views the family decided to make Adam a donor. The only problem was that because of Nebraskaís policy, Minnesota is also the same, he couldnít become a donor until his brain fully herniated making him completely brain dead by legal standard. By Sunday night Adamís organs were shutting down and his brain had a tiny bit of blood flow left, if his brain didnít become herniated soon his organs would be bad. Thankfully by Monday night the blood left his brain and he was able to donate under those laws. Adamís organs helped over 50 people, his heart helped 6 and even his right arm helped a burn victim. For this family organ donation made it possible to give meaning to Adamís death and I think it helped a great deal for everyone knowing that his life wasnít wasted and that others benefited.

Bruce also went as far as to help the hospital get a DCD policy in place in Nebraska and Minnesota. While at BrianLGH he and a team of doctors attended meetings about organ donation and made a video and he also spoke on what it was like to watch Adam in a hopeless state and his life being prolonged with life support.

Months later Cindy went through Adamís room and found an organ donation pin he had got in elementary school. That was what Cindy needed to confirm that she did the right thing. Also organ donor familyís through LifeSource are offered meetings yearly to help deal with the loss. I have gone with to some of them and I think it helps a great deal to hear other peopleís thoughts and stories.

There is a great need for organs. Brain death results in excellent candidates for donation, a brain dead person is able to donate just about anything, the doctors will ask the family what is ok for donation before they go ahead. I had never considered organ donation before the accident, I also didnít worry about it because I was only 19. After Adam, only 13 died and donated his organs, I reconsidered.

Brain death in itself is a huge debate over organ donation. Are they really gone? I firmly believe they are, especially after seeing Adam. The nurses had did a relatively good job controlling the swelling and bruising and covering Adamís head when we visited, my first reaction was that he was just sleeping, he would wake up. I thought that because he appeared to be breathing and moving slightly. I was told later that the machines he was on were breathing for him and that because there were tiny amounts of blood in his brain moving out that it caused physical reactions, like jerking. The doctors performed tests often and many of them. One of the tests is to take the breathing machines offline and count how many breaths Adam can take on his own in a given time. Adam took one breath every few minutes, this also meant that if he survived by some miracle that he would need life support his whole life and that he would be severely retarded.

There is a difference between brain dead and persistent vegetative state. When someone is brain dead, they are dead, and totally unconscious. Persistent vegetative state patients are conscious and that is about it. They cannot do much more than observe.

Although I donít agree with the cons to organ donation I have also put links to articles against it.