When I went on line to help my brother renew his driver license, I had no idea we will end up spending hours discussing what our preferences are after we each die. It all started with the question in the renewal application about donating organs. The little pink dot some of us affix to the back of our driver licenses to let the police and medics know we are an organ donor. It feels weird to listen to your younger brother tell you what his wishes are about his remains but it is a conversation we all should have.
Luckily for Natalie Cole, a young mother-to-be had! I just watched the videocast of an interview with Natalie Cole on Larry King Live. She was there to be interviewed about a book she has written, “Love Brought Me Back“. This was a follow up visit to their previous program in March 2009 when she had shared her medical problem with the viewers. She had had kidney problems for years and was on dialysis. She had announced how she was on a long waiting list of hopeful people with similar dilemma. Somewhere out there, an expecting mother who was watching the show with her aunt turned to her and said, “she seems like a nice lady. I wish there was a way we could help her.” Lo and behold she died as she was giving birth to her child due to complications with the delivery. She had one of those pink dots on her driver license and had made sure everyone knew about it. Her aunt remembered how her niece was touched by Natalie Cole’s story and you can guess the rest. The young lady’s kidney was a “perfect match”. But when by the special unit at the Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, she was at her sister’s death bed and she refused to go to the hospital immediately! Natalie’s sister, Carole or Cookie as she was known, died the following day while Natalie was being given another chance for life by receiving a kidney from a dead woman! Sometimes, the circle of life can be quite awesome!
That donor lives on through the recipients of her organs. I wonder whether Nader or I will get the opportunity to act out what we discussed on the eve of his birthday a couple of weeks ago and more importantly if we will have the privilege to give the gift of life to someone. Nevertheless, I am glad we had the conversation.
Donate Life California 8213 Organ Tissue Donor Registry
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