Donate Life through the gift of organ donation
Amy Krichten, R.N. | 09.10.13
Amy Krichten, R.N., trauma program manager at WellSpan York Hospital
As an emergency and trauma nurse for over 23 years, I have had the opportunity to be present in many situations surrounding death. Sharing the final life journey can expose our emotions and vulnerabilities.
Several stories stick out in my memory, mainly accounts with young children and a strong family presence. I find it intriguing, that when I think back at the ‘death moments’ I clearly remember what family members were doing at the bedside, what they were wearing or saying, the tears.
I recall going through journeys of grief with families – holding hands, offering words of comfort and support, listening to stories and memories. I especially remember families who were nearing the final goodbye when they were actually laughing and recalling the good times.
The peaceful goodbyes were often accompanied by the knowledge of the gift of organ donation. Knowing that the loved one’s legacy could continue on through the ultimate gift of health and life to another individual and family brought comfort and peace beyond imagination.
"As a nurse, I felt blessed to be able to be a part of a team that could offer hope and comfort to people at their ultimate time of despair."
I have no doubt that others have shared similar experiences.
On the other side of the spectrum, I have had the pleasure of working with and knowing several organ recipients. The joy and ultimate appreciation of life itself with recipients is unrelenting. The gift of life brings the promise of a future and the fulfillment of dreams.
In Pennsylvania alone, there are 8,366 people waiting for organs.
More that 117,000 people in the United States are waiting for life-saving organ transplants and time is running out. Today, 18 of them will die because not enough organs are available for transplantation. Hundreds of thousands of others whose lives would benefit from the gift of tissue and eye donations continue to wait and hope. In Pennsylvania alone, there are 8,366 people waiting. The list continues to needlessly grow.
WellSpan Health has joined the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania’s “Donate Life” Campaign as a partner to increase the number of registered organ, eye and tissue donors by August 31, 2013.
Anyone can be a potential organ donor regardless of age, race or medical history. You don’t need to wait until your driver’s license renewal to indicate your wishes. To sign up today, simply register at www.donatelifepa.org.
In addition to legally indicating your wish for organ donation, be sure to have an open conversation with your loved ones regarding your desire to share your gifts with others. Rest assured, knowing that you will not only be offering the gift of life to others, but the gift of comfort to your own family – as they can help you fulfill your final wish! Become a designated organ donor today.
By Amy Krichten, R.N., trauma program manager at WellSpan York Hospital
Watch Ron Gooden of Gibsonia, PA's personal story:
Published in Expert Blog