Sunday, March 2, 2008

Get Yourself One of These

I heard before that these existed, but I never really bothered to give it much thought. until..

I heard on the radio the other day about Zell Kravinsky, the brief is that he's a very smart and successful man who made alot of money quickly. But he also:

Created a $6.2 million Adria Kravinsky Endowment for Public Health at the CDC Foundation, to support the work of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kravinsky didn't have a suit to wear at the announcement. He purchased one for $20 at a thrift shop.

Donated a million square feet of Ohio commercial real estate worth $30 million to the Ohio State University school of public health.

Ofcourse generosity is very relative, the woman who gave the remaining tamra to her two hungry daughters by splitting it in half was complimented by iRasool (PBUH) when he saw her do that. And on the other hand, is a billionaire giving away a million dollars considered generous? It's all relative, and every little bit helps, and all that. But Zell interested me because he was very middle class, made some good money, then felt compelled to donate it. To him it was a moral obligation.

"In an effort to save his marriage and family, Kravinsky has put a bunch of equity into a private retirement account for Emily and bought his wife a new house." after he was living in an apartment with his wife and 4 children.

He gave away almost all of the $45 million which he made to charities. but WAIT. he went further.

After his wife threatened to divorce him, he gave away one of his kidneys to a total stranger. who he asked to be given to someone "poor and black".

He studied the statistics and found out that the probability of one of his children needing him to donate his kidney to one of them was very very small. Because the odds of getting kidney failure for someone who does not have a family history with the disease was indeed pretty remote.

He felt it was his moral obligation to give it to someone sick and fighting for his/her life than to keep it and die with it, JUST in case one of his close family might need it.

Call me crazy, but I got so moved by this man that I went to the center for Organ Donation in Rotha (you can see their sign over the house on the corner on eSefar highway and 4th ringroad) and this is their number 2520230.

I went there to ask about how the process goes, the man there greeted me with a warm smile and explained to me they can only take down my name and give me one of these donation cards for me to carry around incase I die in an accident, basically that I'm giving them permission to use any organs in the few hours remaining after brain death.

So I got the card and the man was so pleasant that he said to me: "I'm happy to tell you that since we started the program until today, not a single volunteer died." smiling, and I just laughed at that, because, even though he was trying to encourage me, it also means the program has been so far, useless. Because the program is for getting organs from "dying" people. But he meant well :)

Then I went to Hamad al-Eesa center for kidney transplants and asked around. They told me to start the process of becoming a donor I had to be evaluated Psychologically 1st:

Me: Salam, I'm here to ask about donating?

Tea-Sipping Kuwaiti: to a relative?

Me: No.. to whoever.

TSK: *pause* so you don't have someone you want to give it to?

Me: No, I'm thinking just someone who needs it *then I realized the stupidity of that statement*

TSK: What's your financial situation?

Me: *bewilderment* what does that have to do with anything?

TSK: Its part of the process, *wink wink trying to make me understand* are you employed? how's your salary?

Me: My salary's good il7emdella I'm more than satisfied, why is this required to know?

TSK: well.. some donors ask for money from the recipients' family, and we try to curb that. Usually if the patient is Kuwaiti, the family would put an ad in the paper, and then a desperate expat would contact them and they'd arrange for payment, but in some cases the donor keeps on extorting them long after the transplant. It gets ugly sometimes.

Me: Oh I see.. well I'm not after any compensation..

TSK: why are you doing this? most Kuwaitis get their needs using the ads like I said.

Me: Well I don't know, don't you get poor people who can't pay?? (at this point I'm really surprised by where the conversation is going, I expected encouragment from this guy)

TSK: I see.. so do you have any conditions for the person you want to donate to?

Me: Well, poor I guess, and maybe priority to a young person? shrayek? what do you think?

TSK: hmmm... I'll take your contact information and call if you if I get a candidate.

I left his office and went back to the doctors to ask about what are the real dangers for myself here. Because I'm hoping that I'm thinking clearly at this stage. And if not, someone would tell me I'm wrong.

The information I get is that it IS more likely to succeed if the donated kidney comes from a live and willing person as opposed to one from a brain-dead accident victim, mainly because the window for the latter is much smaller and fluctuating blood pressure can damage the kidneys and make them unusable. I asked about patients who need it and the Dr assured me he has lots of cases.

At home, I have to discuss it with my father now, to get his advice... turns out not only is he outraged, but he calls me depressed, unreasonable, and that it would be 7aram to do it, because I'd be endangering myself. I pacify him. "Malek illa irretha yuba."

Then I go to 2 different famous and knowledgeable A'emma that I know and ask them both about if its 7aram or not. They both tell me if I make sure from doctors that it wouldn't be a danger to me, then it would be Ajer, and not 7aram.

So I call this Dr. Fawzy Al-Khawari who works in Hamad al-Eesa's center himself and does the operations. And he assured me they've been doing it for 30 years now, and that Kuwait has excellent experience in the procedure, and that 95% of the time they don't even open you up. But they do it with minthaar and then the freed kidney is taken out through a small cut.

So now my question is, how hard should I press my father about this?

And am I being crazy and unreasonable here?


Shaymaa said...

I think you should listen to your father. They (parents) always know best.

Stick to blood donation?

falantan said...

Thanks, and that's what I intend to do. And I already give blood every 2 months il7amdella.