My cousin was in a serious car accident and was put on life support. After four days, the decision was made to shut off the machines, and my cousin's blood was drawn for tissue typing to see if she could donate a kidney to me... I'm a dialysis patient. I knew that my cousin and I had the same blood type. I got my blood drawn, and the next day my aunt was told that we weren't a match so the transplant wouldn't be done. My aunt was not asked if she wanted to donate my cousin's organs to anyone else.
My cousin was a known drug user. It's possible that her drug use contributed to the car accident. Would the doctor have decided not to do the transplant because of the presence of drugs, and just told my aunt that we weren't a match in order to spare her the further grief of finding out her daughter was back on drugs at the time of her accident? I thought this might be what happened since my aunt wasn't asked for permission to use my cousin's organs for anyone else.
Here is my question: If you were in this situation, would you tell the parents the truth? Or would you feel that the parents already had enough to deal with?
So sorry, Sadie.
A couple of ideas--I am not certain--you are probably more up on this than I am--but isn't the same blood type just a very small part of tissue typing? Aren't there other factors that might have made your cousin's kidney incompatible with you, and likely to be rejected? That is, a poor match?
I am betting that your cousin had Hepatitis (probably C) as well, if she was a drug abuser--that alone would have made her kidney unusable for transplant.
I think the doctor was probably trying to be as kind as possible, and leaving her mother with only good memories of your cousin (her daughter) by not elaborating on the whys of incompatibility.
I pray that you get your donor. We all proved incompatible donors for my own cousin--and then, her lifelong best friend from high school (they are both in their late 40s now) got tested--on a whim--and was a perfect match! My cousin got her new kidney from her last year, and is doing great.
Last edit by stevierae on Mar 22, '05