by Laurel Williams, RN, MSN, CCTC
Did you know that in 1992 the average cost of a gallon of milk was $1.05? The average household income was $30,000.00. Hurricane Andrew hit the South of Florida, McDonald’s opened its first franchise in China, and Bill Clinton became President of the United States.
In 1992, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) reported that 16,134 transplantations were performed in the US. There were 7,091 donors who selflessly decided to become organ donors and tissue donors; 4,520 were deceased donors and 2,571 were living donors. In 2011, the last completed year for UNOS data, there were 28,661 transplants performed. There were 14,145 families who stepped forward to help others; 8,126 were deceased donors and 6,019 were living donors. To date 270,296 donations have helped save or enhance the lives of 549,543 patients and their families.
With the help of doctors, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, dieticians and many other healthcare professionals and organizations, we strive to improve upon the lessons learned over the past 20 years and enhance the quality of life and care for those who give and those who receive. We have come a long way together and we have a journey ahead as the waiting list continues to expand, changes in healthcare occur and patients and families continue to face health challenges. As we approach the holiday season we at Transplant Chronicles give thanks to all of you who continue to inspire us with your personal journeys and your willingness to contribute. We applaud the dedication and hard work of patients, families, and healthcare providers. And in the words of an anonymous author “Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes it meaningful”. Happy Holidays and Happy 20th Birthday to NKF’s Transplant Chronicles.