Organ & Tissue Donation
Emergency surgery was performed during the night but Brian was finally declared "brain dead." Brain death is a condition in which all indications of brain function have permanently ceased. With the use of a machine called a respirator breathing was mechanically maintained and his heart continued to beat. Brian's parents and older brother were grief-stricken and in a state of shock.
But Brian's story does not end here. His nurse in the Intensive Care Unit knew that everything possible had been done to save Brian's life. She huddled with the organ procurement organization to discuss with Brian's family the option of donating Brian's healthy organs and tissues to others in great need. Both mother and father agreed. The thought that good would happen to others gave them a large measure of comfort.
Brian's parents signed the permission form. Within hours skilled surgical teams removed Brian's organs and tissues and sped them on to waiting recipients. Brian's heart went to a 35-year-old father of two. Brian's kidneys went to a teacher who had been on dialysis for 5 years; the other kidney went to a young wife and mother of three youngsters.
Brian's eyes were removed so that his corneas could restore sight to two blind people. His donated skin helped save the life of a severely burned baby. Bone form Brian's legs and hips were removed so that a 14-year-old boy would not have to undergo amputation of a leg due to bone cancer and so that another child's severely deformed face could be reconstructed by a plastic surgeon.
From this single tragedy sprung new life, new health, new hope for nine of Brian's fellow humans and for nine American families.
To sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, call (800) 482-4881