Giving Life: Israeli Organ Donations on the Rise

A meeting between several organ recipients with the Druze family who donated their child's organs.

As the hospital performing 70% of Israeli organ transplants, Rabin Medical Center was pleased to see that the number of organ donations in Israel from live and deceased donors is on the rise. Yet on the other side, more people are waiting for donated organs-1,069 people in the beginning of 2010 as compared to 923 at the start of 2009, needing mostly kidneys.

These new numbers show that more Israelis have come to understand and accept the need to donate organs. This year, 45,000 more Israelis than last year have signed the organ donation card, stating their intent to donate their organs after death. Family members are also more willing to make such a decision while grieving for a loved one who is brain dead. For the first year ever, the majority of these families agreed to donate the organs for transplants, most of which were performed at our hospital.

In 2009, 282 organs were donated, giving life to people who would have died without a transplant. One such person is Lily, a 48 year old woman who suffered from cystic fibrosis and was in critical condition. She waited three years before finally receiving two new lungs from a woman who died from a stroke and whose family donated her organs. Lily feels that she has been given a new life.

This lung transplant was one of 178 transplants Israel's Rabin Medical Center performed in 2009, which also included heart, kidney, heart and lung, and liver transplants. Each is a complicated procedure, requiring a large staff, continued treatment, and follow-up.

Though it can be devastating to lose a loved one, we must remember that in death we can give life, the greatest gift one can offer.

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