For an Organ Donor

The final stitch placed

Surgical clamps released

A kidney turns pink.

*  *  *

He was right. Nothing compares.

Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa

Love Life, Gift Life


For Mother’s Day: A Rural Story of a Mother’s Love

I have amazing women in my life – a wonderful mother, grandmother and aunts. I have written about them before, so this Mother’s Day I am sharing a story I have told them, and I know they won’t mind it as a tribute to all mothers.

My rural Family Medicine rotation earlier this year was not just rural – it was classified as DEEP rural. The majority of the people living in the area had no water or electricity. Many of them had pulmonary disease, despite never having smoked – the so-called hut-lung disease. The nearest referral hospital was more than two hours away and was reached by traveling roads with near-dongas as potholes.

Most of our patients were unemployed, or otherwise self-employed as subsistence farmers who struggled to subsist. Almost none of them had cars, and so when we did refer them to the “nearby” hospital they were sent with patient transport vehicles that were chronically overfilled. Patients who had to go to even larger hospitals with more specialised abilities had to find their own way – although the doctors often helped them out with bus fair using their personal income. Continue reading “For Mother’s Day: A Rural Story of a Mother’s Love”

Transplant Surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa

I have made no secret of my bad relationship with surgery. So why would I attend a meeting of a student surgical society, having just escaped the claws of my SI surgical rotation (passed the OSCEs, by the way!)?

Three reasons: The hope that it will inspire me for exam preparation (fewer than five weeks to go…), free refreshments, and including the words “in developing countries” in the discussion topic. Honestly, you could get me to attend ANYTHING with those words. Continue reading “Transplant Surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa”

Organ Donation, Unwinding and the Black Market

Organ donation is becoming more and more of an issue. It should have been a huge issue ages ago.

Nazirah wrote a great post about it here. I recently read Unwind by Neal Shusterman. You need to read it. It is a warped and really freaky story. The fictional concept of unwinding is the process of donating an entire live child for organ harvesting, because by the law’s weird rationale, the child is not killed as it “lives on”.

Continue reading “Organ Donation, Unwinding and the Black Market”