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Be an organ donor and give the gift of life: Mitch Carson

Posted 5/28/19

Life changes in an instant.

For one family, that change came with a fatal car accident. For another, it was the call of organ donation.

April was Organ Donation Awareness Month. I had not heard …

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Be an organ donor and give the gift of life: Mitch Carson

Steve Carson
Steve Carson
Posted

Life changes in an instant.

For one family, that change came with a fatal car accident. For another, it was the call of organ donation.

April was Organ Donation Awareness Month. I had not heard of it prior to my family getting the phone call that my father was the target recipient for a new kidney and liver. He became one of the too few who will get lifesaving organs this year.

My dad, Steve, is 63 years old and had been on dialysis for  4 1/2 years to replace his kidney function, but then his liver began to fail. Both organs were diseased from the effects of diabetes, which he has had for 30 years.

On April 1 (no fooling!), my dad received a phone call from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to receive a donor liver and kidney. The call, an instant in time, changed my dad’s life forever.

Post-transplant, my father was in Johns Hopkins for almost three weeks and then Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for physical rehabilitation for another 10 days.

On May 3, my dad was cleared to return home. It is not as smooth sailing as it might seem. It is major surgery and more medicine than you can imagine in getting someone from transplant to home and then to normal life.

Thankfully, his problems are typical of someone in recovery and living with a transplant, and he is starting to get back on track. My family, my father and I are happy that he received a donor liver and kidney. He is happy that he is able to have a new start on life and is able to spend more time with family and friends. We all keep reminding ourselves how he got here, that on a random day, a phone call literally changed my dad’s life. 

Life changes in an instant, one family grieves while another one celebrates.  Organ donation is the gift of life, and it connects those separate instances. My dad’s story is also a message. Please consider organ donation.

Mitch Carson is a 2017 graduate of Middletown Area High School. He is enrolled in HACC, majoring in communications, and he regularly contributes to the Press & Journal.