Woman brings awareness to organ donation, the paperwork involved

To the editor:

Darwin Dean Burton was born on Dec. 25, 1955, and passed away on July 18, 2016, at the young age of 60. He was the longest living liver transplant in Iowa, with 24 years of success.

Iowa City University Hospitals has an average survival rate of 38.9 percent for three years for liver transplants. ?Your chances of a successful liver transplant and long-term survival depend on your particular situation. In general, about 72 percent of people who undergo liver transplant live for at least five years. That means that for every 100 people who receive a liver transplant for any reason, about 72 will live for five years and 28 will die within five years,? according to the Mayo Clinic.

The Mayo Clinic also states ?people who receive a liver from a living donor have higher survival rates because having a living donor usually means a shorter wait for a liver. For liver transplants using living donors, the five-year survival rate is about 78 percent. That means that for every 100 people who receive a liver transplant using a living donor, 78 will live for five years and 22 will die within five years.?

He succeeded this by far. The physicians at the hospital asked him for a picture, but he declined joking that he didn?t want to be ?bumped out? by the person right below him for the record. He had a wonderful sense of humor.

As a show of appreciation, a card was sent to the University of Iowa, to give a ?thank you? to the family of the donor. Their daughter?s donation allowed my brother to live another 24 years, thanks to her parent?s generosity.

Darwin passed away from a ?heart attack? and not liver failure.

He was scheduled for angioplasty to have his arteries cleaned. They also suspected that he had a hole in his heart. During the angioplasty procedure the doctors were also going to check out his heart, to see if there was in-fact a hole and then repair it. His surgery was scheduled for Wednesday, although he passed away at home in his chair two days before his surgery.

His wishes were for his body to be donated to science for doctors and researchers to learn and study the secrets of his success, and to give other transplant patient?s greater hope for their success.

Unfortunately, his wish wasn?t granted because ?the paperwork was not done prior to his death.?

This caused tremendous stress to the family scrambling to figure out what to do next. Please don?t let this happen to another family member who assumes all you do is let them know.

We live in a paperwork society. Nothing happens until the paperwork is completed beforehand.


Davonna Cox

Mt. Pleasant