As Dying Matters Week draws to a close, I wanted to share with you my personal experience of organ donation. It’s vital we feel able to talk about aspects of death like this. I have shared, in quite some detail, the process that is necessary in order to donate organs to another – a dilemma we were faced with when Abi died (so grab a coffee and a tissue!). If you are considering joining the organ donation register, you may find this post useful. It contains details of the steps involved and how complex the process is, which was something we certainly never realised until we were there.
Abi had collapsed into a coma following a sudden brain haemorrhage at home. The prognosis wasn’t good but the brilliant neuro surgeons at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol operated on her anyway the same night; she had just a 5% chance of survival at that point, but any percentage was enough to give us a slim hope.
Of course we don’t like talking about death and our mortality. It’s depressing for a start, not to mention bringing up painful emotions, or making us realise we’re not getting any younger.
I can recall rolling my eyes at my husband for wanting to sort out our life insurance, booooring! Why can’t we talk about holidays instead? We only wrote our wills a couple of years ago, with three children at that point we felt it probably about time. If I’m honest, it wasn’t nearly as depressing a task as I thought, in fact it felt quite good to know my children were protected should we die while they still needed us to care for them.