Saturday, 6 October 2007

The Gift of Life: You Can Do It Too!



I have been thinking about 14 year-old Hui Yi (Get well soon, dear...We're with you!), and how she finally got a new heart...

One thing that struck me was the fact that there were two hearts available, both at the same time, and both was used by Hui Yi...



So what happens to the second person in line? I mean, I am sure there is a line of people all waiting for organs, with Hui Yi right on top...

And when she got a new heart from the dear Malay boy, and there was news of mechanic Chin Yoon Keong's family offering his organs for harvesting after he was declared brain dead, I am sure the second person in line would have been overjoyed to think that he/she too would be getting a chance to get a new lease of life...



But as we all know, the first heart was rejected, and Yoon Keong's heart was transplanted into Hui Yi...I don't know much, but I doubt the first heart can be used for someone else...


Can it?


Which brings me to the next point: we seriously have a dearth of organs available to be procured...

Come to think of it, even blood...I heard there are only a few thousand blood donors (or was it a few hundred thousand? Whatever it is, still not enough...) in Malaysia, and yet, we have like what? 26 million people?



In front of Penang Hospital, there is this tower-like thingy, which shows the level of blood in the Blood Bank, and it has three 'marks': Rendah, Sederhana, and Tinggi...

It is sad that the level is almost perpetually stuck at Rendah, and only occasionally, have I seen it to go up to Sederhana...



I have been donating blood since I turned 18, and the vein which they use to draw the blood is now very prominent...I wear the vein like a badge of honour, because before this, I had baby-fine veins, and doctors, nurses and phlebotomists always shake their heads when they need to draw my blood, and use to spend a lot of time 'waking' my vein up with the 'tie and whack' routine...


And after some discussion with my parents, I signed the organ donation card when I turned 17...only to lose the card...But no worries, for I now carry another one which was signed on the 9th of March, 2005...


My point here is this...You don't need to be anyone special to donate blood or to pledge your organs for donation...I think I am proof of that...


After all, who am I? A millionaire? The King's daughter? A celebrity? CEO of some trans-national company?


I am none of the above...I am just a student -broke one, I might add- with VIP (Very Important Penganggur!) status...


So, if I can do it, why not you?

Who knows? You could help save somebody, somewhere, one day...


After all, Organ Donation is the Gift of Life...



Disclaimer: The person who gets my heart may be prone to excessive sappiness when watching chick-flicks and Hindi movies, kidneys that love coffee (hehe), eyes that are prone to tearing, and lungs that forget to inhale when watching House, M.D....


33 comments:

Jo-D said...

Dear Daph, the person who gets your heart in the far of future will get a heart that is full of love and care. That person will get a heart that will want to give. That person will get eyes that sees the beauty in so many things and things that people won't bother to see. That person will also get eyes that will steam when someone cuts his or her line ;-) I should have known. If there is one person who will give her organs up, it is you.

winniethepooh said...

u never fail to amaze me with ur wisdom that i really wonder if ure 21 year old or ure just born with a 81 years old brain in a 21 years old body! :)

way to go daphne!

Jaded said...

Unfortunately my parents would not allow me to be an organ donor... mom wont allow me to donate blood as well... as im still under their wing it wouldnt do to go against their wishes... or so i think la...

haiz...

besides that, there're the horror stories of doctors who wont save u if they know they can harvest your organs, and those who will 'steal' ur organs for the black market. dont know how true it is tho as i didnt really research well into that subject >.<

tokasid said...

Dear Daphne:

For your courage and tender heart and willingness as an organ donor I have this for you: TABIK SPRING.

Its nice to know that for the past 3-4 years more and more are aware about the importance of organ donation. And many young ppl(like you ) are willing to be one. And I'm happy too that the Muslim intelectuals(ulama) have come out with fatwa allowing organ donations by Muslims.

There are still lots to be done to educate our citizens about organ donations. Hopefully by highlighting Hui Yi's case will open more eyes.

I think the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Youth and Sports can play a bigger role here.
If pupils are introduce to organ donations, I think by the time they are eligible many will sign up.
Colleges and universities too can help this cause by allowing more talks or exhibitions.

As for myself, my cornea, heart ,lungs and kidneys are not in good shape. All have started to deteriorate due to effects of the big three( yes I got DM, HPT and hypercholesterolaemia).
The last time I donated blood was about 7 years ago and the ppl from blood bank informed me: " mengapa tak beritahu tadi ada Diabetes dan Hypertension? Encik tak boleh derma lagi lepas ni..darah encik tak boleh digunakan"

Yes, our blood banks are always in the deficit especially during the festive seasons.And you are right, we only have few hundred thousands of regular donors. Ppl are not willing to become donors regularly. You will only 'catch' them when doing a donation drive.

I pray for Hui Yi to have a speedy recovery and no rejection to the second heart.

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Jo-D,

Awww...That's about one of the sweetest things people have ever said to me *Sob*...

Haha...Actually, you can't give your eyes...It's just the cornea...=) Hehe...Otherwise, the person will get sepet-ed eyes...;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Winnie,

Awww...

But most of the time, I feel like an 81 year-old, period...

Just try asking me when I am walking to college how old I am, and I will probably answer '81', while huffing and puffing...

Also try asking me when I am trying to commit something to memory ;)

Thanks Winnie!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Jaded,

Yeah, many parents won't allow it...I had quite a long discussion with mine too...

Anyway, organ donation does not compromise the treatment you get...

The team of doctors that treat you and the team of doctors who procure the organs are two seperate teams altogether! Only when the team who treats you certifies you are brain dead will they harvest your organs...

They won't kill you intentionally to save another person...I mean, there is no sense in that what...Organ donation is to save lives, not go around killing people to save already sick people...

But I would suggest not pledging to donate your organs if your family is agaisnt it lor...

Ultimately, the decision lies with them anyway...So, don't cause strife within your own family unit...

Even for people who voluntarily pledge their organs before death, if at death, the family refuses to sign the consent form, nothing can be done...

Which means the decision lies solely with my next-of-kin at my death whether or not I will become an organ donor...

Likewise, even if you don't specify that you want to be an organ donor, but your next-of-kin decides to donate your organs, it is possible...

Hope that answers your question a little dear...

tokasid said...

Daphne:

Just wanna add to what I wrote in an earlier comment.

Derma Organ Untuk Bukan Islam

3 October, 2007 (15:46) | Kenyataan, Penjelasan

Mufti Perlis S. S. Dr. Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin berkata “Perbezaan agama bukan penghalang kepada umat Islam untuk menderma organ kepada orang bukan Islam kerana tidak timbul pertikaian dari segi hukum mengenai perkara tersebut”

Kenyataan ini beliau lontarkan ketika mengulas mengenai nasib penerima jantung teknikal, Tee Hui Yee, 14 semalam di dalam akhbar Utusan Malaysia.

Tee Hui Yee telah setahun menunggu untuk mendapatkan jantung yang baru, namun tempoh itu berlalu dalam keadaan masih tidak ada orang yang sanggup mendermakan jantung kepadanya.

Pengarah klinikal, Pemindahan Jantung dan Paru-Paru dan Program Jantung Mekanikal, Institut Jantng Negara (IJN), Dr. Mohd Ezani Taib berkata, pihaknya pernah menerima pertanyaan daripada orang ramai mengenai prosedur menderma organ.

“Tetapi penderma mahu hanya orang Islam menerima organnya kerana kononnya ia melibatkan soal hukum,” katanya.

Mufti Perlis, Dr. Mohd Asri dalam kenyataannya menyebut : “dakwaan bahawa menderma organ kepada orang bukan Islam adalah sia-sia kerana tidak menjanjikan pahala adalah tidak benar sama sekali.”

“Surah Al-Baqarah ayat 272 antara lain membawa maksud pendermaan organ kepada bukan Islam tetap dijanjikan pahala kerana ia dilakukan atas dasar membantu mereka yang memerlukan dan untuk menyelamatnya nyawa,” Beliau menyambung : “jika bantuan diberikan kepada orang bukan Islam sudah tentu ia dapat memperbetulkan pelbagai salah tanggapan mengenai Islam selain menjadi satu strategi yang baik dalam usaha dakwah.”

Kenyataan ini bertepatan dengan fatwa yang dikeluarkan oleh beberapa ulama mutaakhir seperti Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradhawi. Di dalam salah satu fatwanya al-Qaradhawi menyebut :

“Menderma sebahagian anggota badan adalah sama seperti bersedekah dengan harta, harus dikeluarkan kepada orang Muslim dan bukan Muslim.”

sumber: http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/content.asp?y=2007&dt=1002&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Muka_Hadapan&pg=mh_04.ht

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Doc Tokasid,

Thank you sir...

Hmmm...I don't get it...Why is it people with hypertension can't donate blood?

After all, hypertension is generally caused by erm, constricted blood vessels, too much salt intake, a thickened left ventrical, etc, but what does it have to do with blood donation?

I mean, whether or not you have any problem, the amount of blood you have in your body remains the same with people who don't have any problems, right?

So the only thing which would happen to you is that the volume of your blood decreases if you donate it...

Isn't a smaller amount of blood volume good for people in hypertension, in a way? Less volume, means less pressure on the heart to pump it!

I am thinking that as long as there is nothing wrong with the blood itself, should be ok what...

One nurse from the Penang GH once told the students of my college (during the blood donation drive) that a person with hypertension cannot donate blood if they are on more than one anti-hypertensive drug...

And one doctor from Penang GH said can donate, as long as pressure is under control...

So I guess the thing here is that people with hypertension can't donate blood because of the medication...

Oh dear, I am confusing myself...=)

But yes, ditto on the fact that education for the young can help meet the demand for blood and organs...

Hey, did you know if you donated in a private hospital (if not to ganti your friend's blood), you get a RM 50 voucher for Jaya Jusco? =)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Doc,

Thanks for sharing that piece of info =)

That is one reason why many of us like the Perlis Mufti...He is a point of unity for Muslims and non-Muslims, as his views are always very worldly...

Unfortunately, we also have Muftis who are, sorry, very fanatical in their approach...

I don't know if you were aware of the Melayu Jati incident that surfaced during the Siti Aisya campaign, but in many ways, I do not blame this MJ person...His belief that non-Muslims cannot help Muslims, and vice versa, must surely be a product of what he has been exposed to...

I sincerely hope that the act of the Malay parents who donated their son's organs to Hui Yee (and acknowledged her as their adopted daughter), along with the deeds of non-Muslims who came forward to help Siti Aisya will show the fanatics (both Muslims and non-Muslims) that we should and can help one another, regardless of race or religion...

david santos said...

Thanks, Daphne!
Your work very good. I love your work!

Freedom for the people of the Birmânia!

Have a good day

Daphne Ling said...

Hi David,

You are most welcome...

I am assuming you are refering to the upheaval in Burma...So yes, Freedom and Democracy to them!

You have a good day too, sir...

tokasid said...

Daphne:

About the HPT most probably its bcoz of the medication, but my rejection was bcoz of DM.

As for the Perlis Mufti, I have been following his KL classes for the last 4 years(before he was appointed as a mufti), yes his views are more liberal but still within the Islamic teaching but is different from the Islamic methodology used in Malaysia. His concept is easy and he uses the methodology of the Prophet's companions.
The problem with the Malays traditional method/concept of religious teaching is it had become too restrictive in method and views, hence you see many opinions of no to this and no to that.

What Dr Asri and his friends are doing now is to bring Muslims out of that restrictions and to start using back the proper interpretations of Quran and prophets' tradition(hadith). He wants us to go back to that period when Muslims were thinking and not merely memorising and following blindly. What had been said as Haram or Halal in the Quran or hadith is clear and should be followed. But what is not mentioned clearly(like organ donation) is where the ulamaks have to come out with a fatwa.In this case it doesn't matter whether the receiver is Muslim or not. The most important issue here is his/her health, and if by donating an organ can safe his/her life that is what that matters.

Yes,his views are different and some Muslim groups are upset with him.

(sorry this is out of topic)

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

daphne says- "One thing that struck me was the fact that there were two hearts available, both at the same time, and both was used by Hui Yi..."

yo sis,

this is my personal view, but i cld be wrong, as always.

when her body reacted badly after the first heart was transplanted, so happend the second heart was available. Maybe it was meant for someone else but had to be used on her as it was an emergency case. so they kind of prioritized.

Raden Galoh said...

Dpah...Kudos for the big effort and I'm moved by your big heart...

I want to but I kind of know what the answers would be already..yelah someone with cancer track record mcm I ni cannot donate blood and.... the organ? What do you think?

mott said...

heh..i'm also a proud blood and organ donor. problem is most times, hosps prefer male blood..they have more plasma (? someone correct me).

What I don't get is, why ppl have a thinking that we should go to heaven "complete"... we don't go with our bodies, but with our spirit? Perhaps someone can enlighten me..

adam and eve said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............

speechless,i am,cause i'm astounded.

wonder what's your brain prone to?

Jo-D said...

Daph dear, can I adress Kerp (phd)?
Kerp, I personally think the issue at hand that daph is putting out is that we have so little organ donors that when both hearts go to Hui Yee, other people don't get a heart anymore. I think we all know that IJN did what they had to do and it was to save Hui Yee which is why they had to use both hearts. The only other choice is to let the girl die while the next person on the list gets a heart which nobody would ask for. But if we had a lot of heart donors, we would not have this problem I think. While when they are two hearts is a blessing to Hui Yee, it is very sad that the first heart went to waste because so many people out there need hearts. I do not think Daph is wondering why both hearts went to Hui Yee. You thought that's what she meant? I doubt that is what she meant. Daphne, help me here. The point we all wonder now is what happens to the second person on the list? Whihc is why we need more organ donors. By the way Daph dear, I went and signed the donor card after reading your post. Thougt you would want to know. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

What the t@@t about the whole thing especially about Hui Yi and her case. ~TT~ She came on tv and papers crying and asking when she will get a new heart. Npbody owes her a heart and she is asking for it as if it owes her. T.T TooT@! ~~~ I am disgusted because she is being selfish. For her to get a new heart means somebody has to die. Somebody must die for her to live. Yes she needs a heart but when she cries when I am going to get a heart? T.T I cannot wait anymore, it means she is asking when will somebody faster die so I can live longer ~`Gambateh die`~ Gambateh! and here you are supporting her? I am surprised with you

adam and eve said...

heart is precious unlike kidney whereby there are life donors or acceptable alternatives like haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.the heart should go to the most deserving one which at that point in time is Tee as her first transplant failed and she is in a precarious situation.

jaded,
i can assure u there is no foul play as u have mentioned in our medical fraternity.........currently

tokasid said...

To Anon @5.37pm:

There is nothing wrong for Hui Yi or anyone(who needed organ for SURVIVAL) to cry or the plead to others.It also doesn't mean that she is wishing for someone to die. After waiting( and suffering) for a year, anyone in her condition( including me and you) will be helpless and exaushted physically and mentally. I have known a few who wished they are better off dead than waiting in agony.

Of course anyone like her will plead. Any excessive movements or activities will make her breathless and that is not an experience anyone wants to feel.

You are right, nobody owes her a heart and she knoew that. Most probably she pleaded and cry out of desperation and hopelessness or the feeling that she might have been forgotten.

Anon 5.37pm, you are one lucky person for none of your family membars or friends need to suffer like what Hui Yi and others suffered.That why you do not have the symphaty or empathy towards Hui Yi and the others who are in the same predicament like Hui Yi.

Huit Yi was not so lucky( and she didn't in the first place wanted to be suffering this ailment).

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

sorry daph, tumpang lalu...hihi..

Jo-D,

thanks for pointing it out. i am fully aware of the real issue that daphne is trying to put out. my sincerest apology jo-d but i cant quite see any reason u had to single me out when i only stated what i thought. its not even an issue. sure one heart went to waste when it could well save another life, but how would the doctors to know it didnt turn out as we all hoped for?

Chia Mei said...

Hello Daphne,
This is my first time here to your blog. Great posts. I like it here. I want to donate my organs too but I am very scared! Maybe I will start by donating blood. Does it hurt? How do they do it? Are they any criteria? I wish I had the guts to do stuff like you. I think we're the same age.

J.T. said...

Hi there Daphne,

I remember trying to donate blood many, many moons ago (this was in Malaysia) and I told that person I was on medication (for life). And that person said it is better not to give. I tried. :)

Oh yeah, I declared that my organs are up for grabs. They may get short changed, though, with less than perfect parts. :D

Daphne Ling said...

Sorry it took me to log on again, everyone...

Hi Doc,

Yes, that is the one reason why I enjoy listening to his views too. Not fascist-like, and it is applicable to everyone, if they're willing to listen!

Thanks for sharing Doc...

And thanks for the part about the medication too!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kerp,

Yes, I believe we both just agreed on the same thing ;)!

The docs have to do the best for everyone, and that means not letting Hui Yi die...

I sincerely pray the second person-in-line will get a heart too, and that he/she will hang in there till then...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aunty Raden,

Thank you...I really do not know about organ donation for cancer survivors...As for blood, I think anyone who has had Cytotoxic drugs in their bloodstream before is a No-No...=(

Thanks for sharing *Hugs*...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Mott,

Yay! My soulmate...;) Heehee...

As for male blood being prefered, it is for a few reasons...Males naturally have more red blood cells in their body (which is why they have more strength, stamina and speed in athletics than women in general)...

Morover, women menstruate, so our hemoglobin levels are more 'precious'...

That is why they say that men can donate blood every 2-and-a-half months, while women, after 3 months...

They will however accept a woman's blood every 2-and-a-half months if your hemoglobin levels are very high...But then again, some won't...

Hope that answers your question!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Adam and Eve,

Haha...My brain huh? Sorry, that one not transplant-able...;)


Hi Jo-D,

Sure, go ahead and address anyone you wish...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Anon 5.37 pm,

I can understand what you mean about somebody having to die for an organ such as a heart to be available, but I doubt Hui Yi was asking someone to die for her...

Come on, she is only 14 years old...

The idea of organ donation is so that the donor can help someone else...Organ donation is about letting your spirit live on, through someone else...

Chin Yoon Keong and the Malay boy (MB) are already dead, and the heart(s) are already inside Hui Yi...Let us not mar this gift of life with negative accusations...

Hui Yi didn't go and kill either one...All she did was cry out loud, and God made a miracle happen...

Yoon Keong and MB, may you rest in peace...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Adam and Eve, and Doc Tokasid,

Thanks for helping me with the answers =)

Hi Kerp,

Sure you may!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Chia Mei,

Thanks for coming by...No, it does not hurt to donate blood...The needle is pretty big (to prevent your blood from clotting before they finish drawing the blood), but they give you a local anaesthetic of some sort before they draw your blood!

As for the criteria, well, the general thing is that you must be well, have not taken any drugs in the past one week, not menstruating, not pregnant, not lactating, not running a temperature, not have multiple sexual partners, not having STD, and have enough hemoblobin...Oh, and you have to be above 18 yeats old and weigh at least 45 kg's...

There are a few other things, but there are too many for me to put here lar...The best option would be to visit your nearest blood bank and find out more!

Good luck!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi JT,

Long time no see!

Yeah, being on medication is quite a problem when it comes to donating blood...

But I personally feel that it is the thought that counts. You tried!

My parts are less than perfect too, but hey, I am sure every little bit can help...