• December 19, 2014

The best gift in the world

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Posted: Monday, August 23, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:16 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Debbie Moore

Killeen Daily Herald

My brother-in-law is getting his life back after a young woman tragically lost hers a few months ago following a traffic accident.

One of her kidneys was transplanted into my brother-in-law, J.A.

High blood pressure had damaged his kidneys to the point that they had stopped functioning.

He couldn't do much work. He tired easily. Dialysis, which removes wastes from the body, kept him alive.

J.A. had complications after the surgery. He has had a long, slow recovery and is facing a lot more work, but his new kidney is functioning. He is off dialysis.

The transplant has given his family hope that eventually he can live a more normal life, a better life.

Until now, I haven't thought much about organ donation. I wonder what it takes to become a donor. Ichecked out the process online.

I find out quickly that like many states, Texas has its own state donor registry.

The official state website where Texans can register to be organ, tissue and eye donors is called the Glenda Dawson Donate Life-Texas Registry at www.donatelifetexas.org.

The process looks quick and easy. You click a button, and a donor registration screen pops up.

It asks for your name, date of birth, gender and either the last four digits of your Social Security number, or your mother's maiden name or your Texas driver's license or personal ID number.

According to the website, it takes less than 60 seconds to sign up. Donors under 18 years old must have parental or guardian consent.

There is no age limit. At the time of death, medical professionals determine whether any organs are usable.

Tissues have been recovered from people in their 80s, the site says.

The site has a "frequently asked questions" section and a "myths and facts" section to address most would-be donors' concerns. By clicking on these, I find out that you can indicate what organs or tissues you want to donate, that families are never billed for expenses in connection with organ donations and that they seldom delay funerals.

Becoming an organ donor is quick and easy. The site says there are 988,483 certified donors in Texas.

Wait a minute. I answer a few questions and push a few keys.

Make that 988,484.

Contact Debbie Moore at dmoore@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7545.

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