Older Canadians may hesitate before registering consent to donate their organs, but according to Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN), the central organ and tissue donation agency in Ontario, one is never too old to be a donor. The oldest Canadian organ donor on record was over 90 years of age, while the oldest tissue donor was 102.
Age and health are the reasons most often given for not registering consent, says TGLN and yet age and most diseases do not automatically exclude a person from donation. Let health care professionals determine this through their comprehensive testing for suitability at death. Often those not eligible for organ donation can still pass on the gift of life saving or life enhancing tissue.
The organs and tissue eligible for donation include the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys, small bowel, corneas (eyes), heart valves, skin, bones and joints. One organ and tissue donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of as many as 75 others.
Today in Ontario, approximately 1,500 people are on the waiting list for an organ, says TGLN. Every three days, one of these people will die waiting. To make a difference and help save lives, the organization asks that we register consent online at www.BeADonor.ca. If you think you are already registered because you have a signed donor card, you may be mistaken. This is the site to make sure you are registered. It only takes three minutes to potentially save a life.