National Geographic : 2018 Sep
ADREA SCHNEIDER’S ORGANS AND TISSUES have helped at least seven people. From halting infections to curing blindness, a single donor can save or improve more than 70 lives. Enroll to donate organs, eyes, and tis- sues at RegisterMe.org and marrow at BeTheMatch.org. To donate a kidney or part of a liver or other organ while alive, contact a transplant center. Ultimate Gifts Organs Transplants can help the afflicted return to normal life. Organs that pump blood, filter waste, and perform other crucial functions can be replaced when they’re diseased. Tissues Some tissues, such as heart valves, can be stored for up to 10 years. Composite tissues must be transplanted quickly. Lack of oxygen renders them unusable. NGM STAFF. ART: HAISAM HUSSEIN. SOURCES: SCIENTIFIC REGISTRY OF TRANSPLANT RECIPIENTS; DONATE LIFE AMERICA; NATIONAL MARROW DONOR PROGRAM; AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF TISSUE BANKS; OPTN; CDC; UNOS AFTER SURVIVING HER SUICIDE ATTEMPT, Katie Stubblefield hopes to help people who are struggling. For Americans her age, suicide is the second leading cause of death, and the overall rate increased 28 percent from 1999 to 2016. “Whatever is going on in your life, I would say that it’s only temporary,” Katie says. “And no matter what it is, there’s always someone you can talk to.” In addition to local and state crisis hot lines, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers 24/7, free, confiden- tial assistance at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Organ Donation Finding Help Suicide Prevention Financial problem 16% 22% 28% 29% 42% Physical health Problematic substance use Past or near-future crisis Relationship problem 1981 First U.S. transplant Lung* 2,478 Transplants in 2017 1,518 Wait list (June 2018) 1968 Heart 3,273 4,047 Cornea Eye layer is easily transplanted and can cure blindness. Heart valve Can save the lives of children born with heart defects. Bone marrow* Closely matched blood stem cells can cure cancer patients. Bone Used to save limbs damaged by trauma or disease. 1967 Liver* 8,082 13,910 1954 Kidney* 20,639 96,670 1968 Pancreas* 1,002 2,524 1987 Small intestine 109 249 Composite tissues Advances in immuno- suppressive drugs and microsurgery have made more complex transplants—of hands, faces, scalps, and sex organs—possible. *Living people can donate these full or partial organs and tissues. Multiple factors can play a role in a suicide, including mental health. These are the most commonly reported. The most common organ donor is a white male, 18 to 34 years old (shown). Watch an interactive of Katie talking about life before her injury and how she hopes to use her experience to reach out to other young people at ngm.com/face.