Michael Lavecchia: Gift Of 8 Campaign

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I created this page to help spread the word on the importance of organ donation. I believe that organ donation is one’s personal decision to make and therefore this page is to help better inform you when making your decision. It’s amazing how one’s life can forever change in an instant. Shortly after my 33rd birthday I was told that if I did not receive a lung transplant that, within weeks, I would be dead. I grew up having experienced no major health issues therefore this came as a shock to myself, my wife, my family, my friends and my colleagues. Upon being admitted to hospital my condition deteriorated rapidly and within weeks I was placed on two forms of life support. At the 11th hour a matching set of lungs were found and I was spared my life. During my recovery I faced many challenges and setbacks which hospitalized me for weeks and months at a time, however I was still alive and able to enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures such as spending time with my wife, family and friends, enjoying a meal, playing with my dog and feeling the sunshine warm my face. Due to complications, less than one year after my transplant I was told that I would need a second lung transplant. Similar to my previous experience my condition deteriorated rapidly and I was placed on life support waiting for a new set of lungs. At the 11th hour I was once again spared my life when a matching set of lungs were found. Today at the age of 35 I feel very fortunate to be alive and due to the selfless and courageous act of my organ donors and their families I am able to continue to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Like all of us nobody can tell me what the future holds and when my life will once again be turned upside down, however because of my organ donors and their families I have hope which is the greatest gift of all.

Below are some facts on being an organ donor. These and many more can be found on the beadonor.ca and giftoflife.on.ca websites.

•One donor can save up to 8 lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of up to 75 more through the gift of tissue. •The possibility of organ and tissue donation is only considered when all life saving efforts have failed. •When you register your consent to donate your decision will only be accessed should there be potential for donation •Though everyone has the potential to be an organ donor only 2-3% of hospital deaths occur in a way that allows for donation. •Transplant matching criteria generally include: Blood type and size of the organ needed, time spent awaiting transplant, the relative distance between donor and recipient •Once you are added to the organ transplant wait list, you may receive an organ that day, or you may wait many years due to the factors mentioned above. •Age does not matter when it comes to donating organs. The oldest organ donor was over 90 and the oldest tissue donor was over 100. •Individuals with serious illnesses can, sometimes, be organ and/or tissue donors. Each potential donor is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. •All major religions support organ and tissue donation, or respect an individual’s choice. •Organ and tissue donation does not impact funeral plans. An open casket funeral is possible. If you would like to register please click the link below; all you need is your health card. Someday you or a loved one may need an organ transplant like I did. Please share this page with your family and friends.

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