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Organ donors give ultimate gift of life

I read with interest The News article on Tony Lesakowski, the recipient of a heart transplant. As a relative of a man awaiting such a transplant, there is another side of the story that I would like to tell.

By the time a person is put on the transplant list, his health is usually deteriorated to the point that he is unable to work. His energy level is frustratingly low, making it difficult for him to even climb stairs. A man with a brilliant, active mind now has to face the reality that he is a shadow of his former self. His wife becomes the breadwinner despite the fact that she is under the stress of thinking of what might happen 24 hours a day, wondering what each new day will bring. And finally, this man will probably end up in the hospital as Lesakowski did, weakened to the point of being “at death’s door.” Why? The answer is simple. There is a tremendous shortage of organ donors.

Western New York is known as a good, neighborly place to live and yet for some reason, people don’t seem to be willing to give the ultimate gift of life to another. The percentage of donated organs in this area is not nearly as great as in other areas and therefore it takes much longer to receive a transplant.

Churches focus on abortion as the “great sin” that takes away the life of a person. Perhaps they need to focus on the positive and make people aware that their body is only a small part of the totality of their personhood, and allowing a baby to be born and donating an organ is the ultimate gift of life we can give to another person.

JoAnn Reding

Attica