Duke De Rego Donates His Organs
About Organ and Tissue Donation
The need is great. More than 108,000 individuals nationwide are waiting for organs. In Hawaii, approximately 375 seriously-ill people of all ethnic groups are waiting for a heart, liver, kidney, or pancreas transplant. Hundreds of others need cornea or bone transplants so they can live healthier lives. Sadly, there are not enough donations to meet the need. Nationwide, approximately 18 people die every day and in 2009 16 people died in the State of Hawaii while on the organ transplant wait-list.
Who can be an organ donor?
Organ donors range in age from newborn to seniors. Most organ donors are victims of fatal head injuries. Causes include automobile accidents, drowning, smoke inhalation, gun- shot wounds and brain bleeds from a stroke or sudden trauma to the head. Most organ donors are individuals who have been declared “brain dead” by a physician.
What can I donate and how can people benefit?
In Hawaii, you may donate your heart, pancreas, liver, lungs, and kidneys for life saving organ transplants. You can also donate tissue such as corneas, bone, tendons, and skin for life enhancing surgical procedures to replace damaged or diseased tissues. An example of such a procedure would be a cornea transplant to restore sight.
How can I become a donor?
There are three ways one can become a registered organ and tissue donor: 1) the online registry (accessible via this site), 2) when applying for or renewing a driver’s license or 3) when applying for or renewing a Hawaii State ID.
Should I still include my wish to be a donor on my Driver License?
Once you are registered on the Donate Life Hawaii website it is not necessary to indicate your wishes on your driver’s license. Many people, however, continue to include their wish on their driver’s license as a way to share their decision with their family.
Can my family override my decision to donate?
Once you sign up with the Donate Life Hawaii registry, your donor designation grants authorization for organ and tissue recovery. Should you be in the position to donate, your next of kin will be informed of your registration, but will not have the power to override your decision. It is important to let your next of kin know your wishes so that they may be prepared to provide the health care team information about your medical history.
How will my condition be explained to my family at the time of organ donation?
Your physician will use the term “brain dead.” Brain death is a legal definition of death. “Brain dead” means that, as a result of a sudden accident or severe injury to the brain, the body’s blood supply to the brain is blocked, and the brain dies. This causes all organs to stop working within a few days. This condition cannot be changed. Brain death is permanent and irreversible. There is no chance of recovery from brain death.
Can I change my mind about being a donor?
No problem. Log in to the registry using your password to make changes at any time.