Today will be a sad and difficult day for a very dear friend of mine and her extended family. Her uncle passed away on January 4th from complications following kidney transplant surgery.
For those patients who are eligible and interested, organ transplants from a living or deceased donor can offer a new lease on life. For some, like liver or heart recipients, organ transplants may be their only chance for living. Organ, tissue, and blood donations are literally a gift of life.
My friend's uncle had lived with kidney failure and been on dialysis for over 25 years. He was a difficult match for organ donation but because of recent improvements in technology and research his wife was finally able to be a living kidney donor for him. Many would agree that she gave him the ultimate gift of love.
Sadly, due to a series of complications, the transplant never fully 'took' and my friend's uncle struggled to recover in the hospital for several months before passing away from heart failure.
All of us who are part of the organ donation world know the risks and possible complications involved. Organ transplants are not a cure. Organ transplants do not last forever. But organ transplants can offer many people with life-threatening or chronic conditions very good odds of living a more 'normal' life. A life where they can work full-time, play with their children, go on vacations, eat and drink a wide variety of foods, walk half a kilometre without resting. A life where they don't have to go to a clinic three days a week or spend weeks in intensive care. A life that most of us take for granted.
In memory of Gary and Chris and the thousands of people still waiting for organ transplants, please consider organ donation, sign your card, and - most importantly - discuss your wishes with your family.
Rest in peace Gary.
GARY STEPHEN LOGAN
On January 4, 2008 at the Toronto General Hospital, Gary Stephen Logan, loving husband to Marisa Logan, succumbed to complications related to a kidney transplant at the age of fifty-three.
A memorial service will be held at 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15 at the Cemetery Notre-Dame-des-Neiges to celebrate his life. Our family wishes to thank everyone for their kind and supportive words and gestures.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Renal Transplant Research and Education Fund at the Toronto General Hospital.