This blog post was written by John Walsh, president and founder of the COPD Foundation.
Not long after the Aurora tragedy, this article from the Huffington Post came out. It was about a victim of the shooting—who was also an organ donor—and the man whose life was saved with the victim’s lungs.
The transplant recipient’s nephew said, “Amazing that such a tragedy saves a man’s life too.”
One life was lost, while another was saved.
This got me thinking about the importance of organ donation. More and more people are realizing how important it is to register as an organ donor. In fact, Facebook recently partnered with Donate Life to encourage its members to register as organ donors right from their profiles.
And for us, as individuals with COPD, this is a big win. For the world’s largest social network to promote organ donor signup is saving more and more lives in our community.
Those of us with COPD know that the simple act of breathing can be a struggle. Breathing is a daily goal, and for many of us, it takes a lot of work to make it happen. From infusions, to pulmonary rehabilitation, we all go through plenty of visits to the doctor, medication refills, and exercises to make our quality of life better.
Some of us are on “the list,” waiting for the call to hop on a car and run to the hospital to get a new pair of lungs. Our lives can be changed in a single moment. And it starts with a person’s decision to become an organ donor.
Instead of two tragedies, two lives lost, organ donation helps give one tragedy a softer, sweeter ending by saving a life.
Have you received lung transplants or other organ transplants? Tell your story in the comments below.