There are a million causes worthy of our support, but according to statistics released by Lifeline of Ohio, Scioto County is in desperate need of organ donors. Only 39 percent of Scioto County are registered as organ donors — compared to 56 percent of the rest of the state. (In Gallia County the figure is 44.6 percent, while Meigs County it is 49.2 percent.)
There are 102,209 people on the national organ transplant waiting lists today, and 18 will die every day because a transplant didn’t come in time.
In Ohio alone there are 2,900 people waiting, but only about 300 people donations.
There are a lot of ways you can get involved. The easiest, perhaps, and most popular is by telling someone at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles next time you renew your driver’s license. We’ve all heard the rumors that if you’re an organ donor paramedics will let you die so they can harvest your body like a child’s game of Operation. Guess what? That doesn’t happen.
Sure, you think you know someone whose brother’s wife’s co-worker died that way, right? No, you don’t. Stories like that are always told in the ninth person, and almost never involve first hand accounts. When they are told first hand, most of the time that person has a misunderstanding of the situation.
But just putting that little heart on your driver’s license isn’t always enough. The guidelines and requirements are so tight, only one percent of people who choose to be an organ donor after they die will ever be given that chance. Some patients need a living donor, but there were only 6,218 living donors in the United States last year.
So are you just going to sit around and wait until it’s someone you know and love, and then get involved? Please at least send your sympathies to the families of those 18 people who died today while you were waiting.
Ryan Scott Ottney
Portsmouth Daily Times
(Editor’s Note: This letter was written by Ryan Scott Ottney, a reporter on the Portsmouth Daily Times regarding Scioto County’s desperate need of organ donors. It was requested by Lifeline of Ohio, with permission from the author, to be reprinted in the Gallipolis Daily Tribune and The Daily Sentinel because of the low statistics in both Gallia and Meigs Counties.)