We all know that organ donation is really important, right? I mean, one only has to look at a case like that of Justin Lockett to be convinced of it.
The 30-year-old veteran of Iraq slipped and fell while in his Davenport, Iowa, home. He struck his head and never regained consciousness.
According to the Globe Gazette, his wife, Kate, made the decision to donate his organs. This death ended up helping over 50 people.
She initially wanted to contact the people who received his organ, to see what an impact it had made in their lives. “I know better now,” she said.
“I don’t fully understand it, but they have guilt. They know a loved one passed away, and they don’t know what to say.”
The nation of Israel has found itself facing much the same problem. Slate reported that it had one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the developed world.
Only nine out of every million Israelis donates organs upon death. That’s compared to 25 out of every million Americans.
So Israel has taken steps to try and encourage organ donation. The nation passed a law in 2008 that allowed families to receive funds to memorialize those who who willingly donate their organs.
The amounts are generous, up to roughly $13,000 USD. “In this country we always talk about military heroism,” Gadi Ben Dror, director of the organ-donation nonprofit ADI, said.
“[T]his is clearly a case of civilian heroism. … [T]he family should be blessed.”
That’s exactly how the staff the UC Davis Pediatric Intensive Care Unit feel. Ever since 2016, the university reports that they have employed a touching tradition for young donors.
They line the hospital halls. Their heads are bowed.
Then they pass a bed down that line of witnesses. “The honor guard ceremony allows family members to see their loved ones as the hero that they are,” said nurse Virginia Wood.
“We recognize that this isn’t a decision that families take lightly. By choosing organ donation, they are saving so many lives and they should be honored.”
The ceremony isn’t just for staff. Sometimes loved ones join in as well, publicly recognizing the poignancy of the situation.
Wood stated, “Some family members walk behind the bed of their loved ones. Others salute, with their hand over their heart, and stand with us.”
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