People are often surprised to learn how rare it is for someone to become an organ donor. For an individual to become an organ donor, they must die in hospital while on life support, which accounts for only a small percentage of deaths.
Only 20% of Ontarians have registered their consent to be an organ donor. You can
do so online at beadonor.ca
Ryley (pictured here) was only two months old when she became quite ill. It was in the ER that her mother, Joanna, heard the words "enlarged heart." She remembers asking the doctor, "So you're telling me that my baby is going to die? And he said, 'No. But there's a good chance she's going to need a heart transplant.'"
Joanna and her husband were living in a hotel near the transplant centre when they received a 2:00 a.m. call that a heart was available for Ryley. By 9:30 p.m. that night, they were able to see their daughter after her transplant surgery. "She was on a breathing tube...but she was pink. And she just looked so wonderful."
Ryley hasn't looked back since her transplant. She's an active, loving and brave little girl. Having faced the fear of losing her own child, Joanna is so thankful to the donor family and would encourage all Ontarians to become registered organ donors.
"If you needed an organ, would you take one? If you would...why wouldn't you share yours to save somebody else's life? It makes you a hero."
Visit BeADonor.ca to learn more about organ and tissue donation in Ontario.