Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Giving Life to Others With Organ Transplants

A doctor writes in the Seoul Bulletin about his over thirty years in kidney transplant operations. On March 25 of 1969 Myeongdong St. Mary's Hospital had the first successful kidney transplant in Korea and he joined the team at the end of the 70s. He recalls the time he was on night duty, in the intensive care unit, to check the amount of urine from the kidney transplant patients and to care for them.

St. Mary's Hospital in Seoul has had 2300 kidney transplants and Dr. Mun the writer of the article,  participated in about 2000. He remembers the circumstances and the emotions that surrounded the operations: persons were given  new life. He can't forget especially a case at the beginning of last year. 

A healthy young man in his twenties was in a serious accident. The young man was a Sunday school teacher, and dreamed of being a religious. After the accident he was moved to the intensive care unit of St. Mary's Hospital where it was determined he was  brain dead, and was moved to the center for organ transplant where the committee, determining brain death, agreed.

The parents of the young man knew of his desire to be a religious, and his service to others, decided to give his organs to those in need. Mr. Kim's heart, liver, pancreas, kidney, cornea and other organs would give new life to seven persons in need. His mother with much sadness had some consolation in knowing if the operations were successful her son would even after death be helping others.

In the United States  for every million there are 35  who donate their organs but in Korea it is only 7. There is a great lack, and the doctor hopes that we will see the need of giving life by donating the organs of  those that are brain dead to others who need them to live.The young man who wanted to serve others did it with his death and the doctor says God looks on that with favor. He finishes the article with a poem written by Robert Test an American Poet.

"The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital; busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.
When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don’t call this my deathbed. Let it be called the bed of life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.

Give my sight to the man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby’s face or love in the eyes of a woman.

Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.

Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.

Give my kidneys to the one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.

Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk. Explore every corner of my brain.

Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that, someday a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her window.

Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.

If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weakness and all prejudice against my fellow man.

Give my sins to the devil.

Give my soul to God.

If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever."

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