Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-09-20 20:01:40 –
Rochester, Minnesota — For Angel Udin, it’s not always easy to see old photos.
Seventeen years ago, Angel’s husband Stewart was on his way home from martial arts training.
“And in June I was driving down the street with all the kids playing. I opened the garage door, prepared to enter the driveway, and had a large heart in his car. I had a seizure, “Uddin said.
Stewart died, and while she was in the hospital, Angel was contacted by hospital staff and asked if she would like to donate Stewart’s organs.
“Well, at that moment it looked very rude, and I believe in that moment of raw, as I was, and they come to ask that type of question and of great emotion. I couldn’t, “Uddin said.
It’s not an unusual reaction.
“Often it’s scary,” said Dr. Ty Diwan, a Mayo Clinic transplant specialist.
The American Medical Association’s guidelines for organ procurement are extensive, and all healthcare professionals are bound by ethical codes, regulations, and laws. Diwan says most of the stigma surrounding organ donation is not true.
Udin eventually decided that he had made a mistake with her husband’s organs.
“I missed that opportunity, and in fact, the next day, he was most surely interested in giving a gift of life, so I quickly realized that it was a missed opportunity.” She said.
It’s a missed opportunity that has a direct impact on the angel community.
“60% of patients in need of a transplant are in the minority, but only 30% donate,” Diwan said.
Successful organ transplantation depends not on race but on the matching of many genetic features.
“It’s not that black people don’t match white people. Only certain communities, ethnic and racial communities are more likely to match,” Diwan said.
That’s what Udin wants the community to know.
“We are already suffering from health care gaps, so it’s really important to help BIPOC understand the problems at hand and how we can prolong and save lives. “Uddin said.
She knows it would have been what Stewart would have wanted and helps her stay connected with the man she loved so much.
“Our wedding invitation still hangs on the wall of my bedroom, because he’s still a very viable part of the person I’m with every day,” she said. “That’s why I do it because I couldn’t give him his organs. His legacy lives on through this kind of thing.”