Tough Decisions – Child Organ Donation

I had always planned to do two blogs this week, with the intention of boring you with how my little girls first day at school went, that may still be the case time permitting. However, I find myself writing my second piece about a topic that hadn’t even crossed my mind until yesterday morning and hopefully never will again – Baby/Child organ donation.

If you have been reading my blogs, you’ll know that I have a four-year-old girl and more recently an eight-week old little boy. When welcoming your little miracles into the world, you’d be forgiven for not expecting to have to fill in a great deal of paper work. From birth certificates to bank accounts but more importantly the doctor’s registration forms.

We were asked by Stacey’s doctors to go to the surgery to collect the relevant forms. Now obviously our little boy cannot even hold his head up let alone a pen, so the responsibility of filling these forms falls mainly on Stacey, his mummy. We arrive home and we all fall into our areas of the lounge, me on the floor on the laptop, Poppy playing with her Barbies, Harrison arguing with his baby gym and Stacey on the sofa pen in hand tackling these forms. She has the better handwriting so it’s only fair she fills them out.

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After a few minutes, Stacey lets out a sigh and is showing a bewildered look on her face. She hands me the form with one question left blank. The organ donation question. At first we both didn’t quite know how we felt about seeing such a question. I mean I can’t imagine that anyone (please correct me if I am mistaken) has truly thought about the worst happening to their perfect little baby? We certainly hadn’t and we couldn’t remember answering this question with out little girl four years previous, so we were not prepared for it. The question asked was as follows:

NHS Organ Donor registration
I want to register my details on the NHS Organ Donor Register as someone whose organs/tissue may be used for transplantation after my death.
Please tick the boxes that apply.
Any of my organs and tissue or; Kidneys, Heart, Liver, Corneas, Lungs Pancreas, Any part of my body

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After a while, I started to digest the subject more and started to understand and accept what we had been asked and why. I think I processed this differently to Stacey. Maybe being male, and I mean no sexist remarks here, that I saw the more logical and practical reasoning’s for us to be asked this. I’ve said that wrong, I’ve re-written the previous sentence over and over again but I cannot find a better way to say it. Stacey could only picture our little boy not being here, and believe me she lost sleep over it last night.

We started to discuss the subject and aired our views. I posed the question – If any of our children, heaven for bid, needed the same help would we accept a donated organ on their behalf? We both answered, of course we would. However, when it’s you or your loved one who is doing the donating there’s a conflict of interest – an almost selfishness into your decision making. For me, if something good can come from something bad then it has to be considered right? It’s best to be asked this question now than at a more distressing or emotional time.

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We both discussed the heart, it’s actual use and the symbolism it represents. When you say heart, you don’t think of a pump, you think of love and emotion. You love something with all your heart, your soul. How would you feel about that heart belonging to someone else?

We spoke for hours, amongst ourselves and family. We came to the decision to leave this blank on the form, you may agree or disagree with our choice. We’re not saying that if the worst did happen we would say no, just we’re currently unsure. There’s also the issue that he may want to make his own decision when he is older.

I’d really like to hear your views and what you have done with this question in regards to your little one(s) and even yourself. No judgment or ridicule, just mature parents discussing an important topic. Let me know your thoughts.

Thank you.

5 thoughts on “Tough Decisions – Child Organ Donation

Add yours

  1. My nephew has had open heart surgery three times, all made possible by human donations, without these he wouldn’t be here today. A hard decision when you have a perfect healthy child, but to have a sick child on a life support machine is truly heartbreaking.

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    1. I’m glad your nephew is all ok. I agree it’s a hard decision, one made even harder by the age of your child. Giving an organ is a fantastic gesture and one a family member should be proud of. Thank you for commenting.

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  2. A very difficult decision, my daughter Ava has just reached 16, she made the decision herself and now proudly carries her pink organ donation card. My only request is that she didn’t donate her eyes or tissue. We respect her decision and are proud of her however I am not sure I could make that decision for her or for Marcus our 12 year old son.

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    1. 16 is certainly an age for them to make their own decisions definitely. Proud is the right word to us there Janet! Happy birthday by the way 😉 x

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