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Letter: Organ donation is the 'gift of life'

To the editor,

It was with sadness that I read the obituary of Todd Olson in the Nov. 4, 2010 edition of the Hastings Star Gazette. I met Todd this past August during pulmonary rehab class at the Regina Hospital. Todd was going through transplant evaluation at the U of M hospitals at the time and I was six weeks post-transplant. I received a double lung transplant at the U of M on July 31.

Todd was very curious about my experience and asked many questions. One important thing I learned from my transplant experience is that many people who get put on the "list" don't make it to transplant, because there aren't enough organs available. This is what happened to Todd.

With the miracles of modern medicine today, Todd, at the age of 52, was too young to leave us. I was one of the fortunate ones for whom organs (lungs) became available that were a match for me. It is wonderful that people have their driver's license marked as an organ donor, but the fact is, very few organs come from accident victims because of the trauma done to the body during the accident. I encourage you to consider organ donation and let your family know of your wishes. It truly is the gift of life.

Todd's obituary asked us to sign up for organ donation at Another site for information is

Thank you,

Paul Trapp