The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

February 9, 2014

Give light: Talk to family, friends now about organ donation

ENID, Okla. — Nita French has a deeply moving message we’d like to share.

When the Jet native was 24 years old, and 25 weeks into a pregnancy with her first child, she was hospitalized for declining kidney functions.

That was a Wednesday, and she began dialysis by that Friday. On the following Sunday, doctors entered her hospital room and said they were going to perform an emergency c-section.

“They took me in and delivered my baby,” French told Enid Noon AMBUCS recently. “She weighed 18 ounces and was 12 inches long.”

French, the only woman in the world to bear three children after an organ transplant, was diagnosed at the age of 12 with diabetes.

Now she is the picture of health, thanks to a new kidney and pancreas. Even grown men had tears in their eyes as French spoke recently in Enid.

A soldier French identified as Patrick was her donor. She said his mother initially did not want to donate her son’s organs, but then remembered his wishes.

“Sit down with your family right now,” French said. “Don’t think it’s morbid. Don’t think it’s weird. I just encourage you to talk about it. Talk to your friends.”

We urge readers to consider organ donation. About 100,000 people are on the transplant list. Each day, 19 of those people will die.

French rode in last year’s Rose Bowl Parade, on a float for organ donors and their recipients.

“I held Patrick’s picture while I rode the float because he is the reason why I was there,” she said. “He has given me so many gifts. I owe him for so many things.”

French then shared another photograph. The oldest child, who was holding a smiling baby, was her first daughter.

 “They’re here because of what Patrick did for me,” she said.

“I encourage you to think about how you can be someone’s light. How you can give someone life and let them share their light.”

To register as an organ donor, go to www.lifeshareregistry.org.

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