Friday, December 30, 2005

Everything's Coming Up Roses

Hi Folks -
Today's the anniversary of my Homecoming with Dora, my new liver. The year's circle is complete. Ironically, I'm home from work with a little stomach bug, but in fabulous health otherwise. I'm looking forward to a visit tomorrow to our local Shrine of St. Joseph, where I made one of my first strolling trips last year after being sprung from NYU Transplant Center, where I spent 23 days last December.
One of the quirks of my hospital stay was a desire to say the Hail Mary in Spanish each day. I learned it in high school, but hadn't thought about it in years. For some reason, though, it came to me as a major priority in the hospital. Upon returning home and visiting the shrine a day after my release, I had the bizarre experience of finding several people in the usual deserted chapel praying the Hail Mary - aloud in Spanish - a language not widely spoken in our little town. I knelt and joined them.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season and are enjoying Hannukah and Kwanzaa and looking forward to great New Year.

Everything's coming up Roses
I've learned, by chance, that DonateLife is having a float in the Rose Bowl parade. It airs at 11 AM on Monday Jan. 2 on several different TV stations - tune in. We missed the deadline for adding a memorial rose to this year's float in honor of my donor - but we'll do so in coming years.

I've made signing up donors a priority New Year's Resolution this year and will strongly advocate the establishment of an ''Opt-Out'' program for the U.S., much like other countries have. It's nice to see that the issue of organ donation and giving the gift of life will be at the forefront of New Year's Celebrations nationwide.

Much in the local news about organ donor and a very close friend has told Nancy and I that she is signing up after learning of my experience. Perhaps the oddest tale is that of the so-called Angel of Death - a male nurse who has been convicted of what he considers mercy killings of terminally ill patients in hospitals in NJ and PA. Now, the Angel of Death is giving the Gift of Life via a kidney transplant.
There had been a lot of controversy over the issue - in part because he would have to be allowed to go to NY for the operation. A judge has ruled he can make the donation, but only after he is sentenced to prison and must appear before his victims' families in court. There was concern over whether a person in prison is donating under free will, but the judge, in my view, ruled properly. Any donation of a healthy organ should be accepted.


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