Where to get a Transplant

In A Large Populated Area!

I never really thought about this until two weeks before Terry died. But the truth is . . . I have known this for years because we went through it many, many years before with the heart transplant.

Terry had his heart transplant in Cleveland Ohio at the Cleveland Clinic. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful we were that Terry was accepted into their program. They did everything right. They even counseled our girls on death, dying, transplants, change and how they felt about everything.

I write this today because I had forgotten an important part about transplantation. Terry had gone into the hospital on January 11th because he was too sick to wait at home for the transplant and on days that it was kind of nice outside we noticed at subtle change in the hospital staff. The staff’s mood became almost giddy. I finally asked one of the nurses why that was. She replied “when it gets nice out, people jump on their motorcycles and drive them too fast and we get hearts”.

Now I was pretty young at the time and I really didn’t think about the fact that someone had to die in order for my husband to live. It’s a very strange feeling, you really don’t want someone else to have pain in their life and lose their loved one, but the truth is; they are going to get on that motorcycle and they are going to die. So we just didn’t think about it. We honestly didn’t talk about it and the nurses really didn’t say anything either. But it was true, everyone’s mood lightened when the sun was out and temperature rose.

The other thing I realized when I was there, that people in Iowa just didn’t die like they did in larger cities. Yes it is because there are more people living there, therefore more people will die. So your chances for a transplant go up considerably when you are in a populated area.

For instance, between Cleveland and Columbus there are over a million people that live in close proximity. There are just over 3 million people in all of Iowa. Ohio has almost 4 times the people that Iowa has.

Conclusion: Iowa is not a good place to get a transplant. Terry and I did talk about going to Omaha to get on the kidney list out there, but he really didn’t want to go that far. I think he was tired.

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