Have you added your children to the organ donor register? Its not an easy decision. I can understand that.
Being responsible for yourself, that’s one thing. Saying, hell yeah, if I die you can take the lot, but your child, that’s a different matter! Yet I think it is important to think about it.
What if, dare we even think such a thing, it was my child????? Yes, what if it was my child that needed a heart? They have weeks to live unless some other poor family have to experience their own tragedy and that family then agree to save the life of another child by allowing their child’s heart to be donated. Deep within their own grief they have to make the difficult selfless decision to help another family in ways that I’m sure no one can imagine unless they’ve been there.
Couldn’t I just wait and ‘cross that bridge’ if it happens? Its not a nice thing to consider the death of your child at any time but when they are healthy and still so young...though I am not sure whether I’d be able to make that kind of decision at the point it was actually needed, when I was so full of grief and emotion. So it is a decision I’d rather face now when I am clear-headed.
From what I understand, you still get the final say at the time of the incident anyway but having known I thought it was the right thing to do at one point it may prompt me to think of the reasons why and to make the difficult final decision to go ahead with the donation(s). Of course, it wouldn’t be the decision of just one of us parents, it would be a joint decision so, if one parent was wavering, again, having discussed it and agreed to sign them onto the register could help.
I would then hope I got some comfort knowing that the death of my beloved child was not completely in vain and that part of them will live on.
I wanted to add Callum a few years back but when I first broached the subject with Stuart, theoretically he was for it but wasn’t ready at that point to add his name to the register there and then. It then came up again a couple of nights ago and Stuart asked if the children were on the register. I said they weren’t but I wanted them to be and he agreed that he also felt they should. So I did it, quick, before either of us changed our mind.
Now I just hope we are never in a position where we need to follow that decision through or where we ourselves are facing the prospect of losing our child should a donor not be available.
Maybe signing them onto the register is still a step too much at this stage but at the very least I urge you to have the discussion, if appropriate, with your partner/the other parent to your child(ren). You may be thinking the decision is simple in your head but are you both on the same page? I’m pretty sure you wont want to be having a deep debate on the subject at the critical hour…or minutes.
Of course, I wouldn’t sign up my children if it wasn’t something I was prepared to do myself. I am already a registered organ donor, bone marrow donor and as of this week, I’m now allowed to give blood (you need to wait 6 months after giving birth) so will be finding my nearest blood donation centre right after publishing this post.
After mentioning on Twitter that I had registered Callum and Millie on the Donor Register, a Follower pointed me in the direction of @TobysGift and through that Twitter account I found the blog TobysGift’s Blog, written by a Mum, Sally, who has already had to face this heartbreak and now promotes and supports organ donation. Perhaps you might like to take a read if you are thinking about organ donation.
For more information, to register yourself or your children, please go to the NHS Organ Donor Register or click on the picture at the top of this post.