February 14, 2005 |
It's Valentine's Day, a perfect time to think about love and hearts. Not to mention kidneys, lungs, corneas and all the other precious organs you could possibly donate after death. Polls show 83 percent of Americans are in favor of organ donation and transplantation, yet most do not sign organ donor cards. That's true even in Pennsylvania, where passage of a law a decade ago promoting donation has made it a national model. Pennsylvanians can become designated organ donors through a simple checkoff on their driver's licenses or state identification cards, yet only 42 percent, or about 3.8 million, have done so. In Philadelphia, 29 percent are designated donors, the lowest county rate in the state.
April 27, 1988 |
When the group of organ transplant experts approached Dr. Clive Callender, a senior black transplant surgeon in the U.S., the Howard University Hospital specialist was perplexed by their question. Why is it, they asked him, that 70 percent of the patients undergoing kidney dialysis treatment are black, but fewer than 10 percent of the kidneys donated for transplants come from black donors? "I didn't know the answer, so I said I'd get back to them," Callender said. That was six years ago. Today, he's found answers - and raised many new questions.
March 16, 2010 |
Hey, buddy, can you spare a kidney? What if you got $10,000 for your trouble? $100,000? Or more? With 106,131 Americans now on waiting lists for an organ - 83,754 of them for kidneys - researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center sought to find out whether financial incentives would increase living organ donation. Their findings - that payments would draw more participants without relying disproportionately on poor people - are highly controversial.
August 15, 1991 |
Dialing Shirley Sinclair's number was harder than I thought it would be. Sure, she had agreed to talk about the New Year's Eve death of her son, but asking the questions was an uneasy, intrusive process. Delbert Sinclair went out at 8 that night. The call came at 1 a.m. At Einstein Medical Center, they told Sinclair and her husband their 29-year-old son had been beaten wih a bat -so brutally he would never wake up. Through a wall of shock and grief, the Sinclair family made a courageous choice.
March 29, 2011 |
Through the 1990s and into the 2000s, as public awareness about the need for organ transplants grew, the number of people who became donors - living and deceased - increased by several hundred each year. In the last four years, however, that number has leveled off. Last year, total donors were down slightly nationwide. Locally, there was a bigger drop. Pennsylvania saw a 6.6 percent decline in the number of people who were organ donors last year, while New Jersey's number fell 7.9 percent, according to data collected by the United Network for Organ Sharing, a federal contractor that manages the U.S. transplant system.
May 27, 2002 |
After a nearly eight-year delay, Pennsylvania has started a controversial program that provides financial rewards to those who donate organs. The state is offering a $300 benefit to pay for food and lodging costs incurred by a donor or a donor's family. The program, the first of its kind in the nation, is paid for through donations to the state's Organ Donation Awareness Trust Fund. "This provides real help to real people going through a challenging time right now," said Stephen H. Suroviec, the deputy secretary of the state Health Department.
May 23, 1994 |
Although he was only 14, death seemed to pursue Raymond Washington. In January, Raymond jumped from the third-floor window of his burning home a few seconds before the building exploded. He badly injured his back, but his fall was cushioned by his sister, who had jumped before him. A girlfriend of another sister died. Last Thursday, Washington ran out of luck. Police said he was shot once in the head when he and his cousin, Antwan Holloman, 19, were horsing around with a loaded gun at Holloman's home on Pattison Terrace near 24th Street in the Passyunk Homes low-rise housing project.
February 27, 1996 |
Of all the phone calls Tulsa Wills received yesterday morning, a day after the death of her son, Keyiron Edwards, the most meaningful came from a bigwig. At 11:30 a.m., former Gov. Robert Casey called Wills, as one of his representatives had promised last week he would. "Hi, Mr. Casey," Wills said. "Thank you for calling . . . My son passed yesterday. " Wills and Casey spoke for about 10 minutes. The conversation focused on organ donation, mostly on how the word can be better spread by way of public service announcements and the like.
September 22, 2000 |
His body was too broken, too bruised beyond repair to continue to live on in this world. But Philadelphia Police Officer Jose Ortiz will live on as a "guardian angel," as an example to other police officers - and in those he saves through organ donation. Last night, just hours after his wife made the heartbreaking decision to take Ortiz off life support, a painstaking, hourslong organ-harvesting process began at Temple University Hospital, in the hopes the young officer's death would not be in vain.
October 7, 2004 |
Msgr. Charles B. Mynaugh, 88, of Darby, former communications director for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, died of Parkinson's disease Sept. 30 at Villa St. Joseph in Darby. In early October 1979, when Pope John Paul II became the first active pontiff to visit Philadelphia, Msgr. Mynaugh's job was to be at the right hand of Cardinal John Krol. Msgr. Mynaugh helped organize logistics, greeted visiting bishops from around the world, and handled press credentials for more than 1,500 journalists who came to the city to the cover the event.