Gift of life

1

  Xiao Rui was abandoned on the day of her birth because she suffered from a serious congenital disease.
  Her only way out is to have a kidney transplant, and it would be better to have a kidney transplanted to a child.
  The afternoon I learned this information, I felt very heavy. My first reaction was not whether I could find the source of the kidney, but that if Xiao Rui wanted to survive, another child would lose his life. This made me unreasonably pray that the source of the kidney would come soon.
  In most cases, I don’t want to use morality to measure this matter. Just like humans need to eat meat, organ transplantation also requires the sacrifice of one party in exchange for the survival of the other party. I only regard this as fate.
  So I accompany Xiao Rui to grow up, while waiting for the arrival of the kidney source. I don’t know if it’s lucky or her kidneys are not difficult to match. We found a suitable kidney source 3 months after registering the information. The hospital called to inform us and let us be prepared. If the family members there agree to donate, Xiao Rui can immediately perform a kidney transplant.
  We waited patiently, and while waiting, we were all conflicted. What does it mean to wait? It means that we are waiting for each other’s death so that Xiao Rui may be saved. But the other party is also a child, maybe a little girl as cute as Xiao Rui. She has parents, and her parents are just like us. I hope she will live.
  However, the end result is that the other party is dead, but the family members firmly disagree with the donation.
  When I got the news, several nursery aunts and I sat in the room silently, and other children were laughing and playing beside us. I was holding Xiaorui, who was already asleep, in my arms, and I was very sorry. It’s not simply regretting Xiao Rui, but, my guilt came from the pain of having to choose one, but now that child is not saved, Xiao Rui also lost hope.
  ”It’s okay, Xiao Rui’s condition is relatively stable. We still have a chance. Someone will definitely be willing to donate.” The nursery aunt saw my sadness and comforted me.
  I nodded. I also believe there will be, so I put aside all thoughts and continued to wait.
  Xiao Rui’s body is very weak and needs to be maintained on a ventilator for half of the day. The situation has become more and more serious in the past year. She doesn’t have much to say, but she always likes to hold me tightly. I just knew that although her body was weak, her small hands were so strong. If there is no kidney source, her own kidney may not last for a few years. Does she know what happened? Does she know her condition?
  She seldom cries, it seems that she doesn’t want to cause trouble to others. Usually, she always laughs. I hold her when I am not busy, and she laughs; when I put her down when I am busy, she does not cry. It seems that she is ready to face such a life.
  In the meantime, there was another case of matching kidney source, but like last time, the family did not agree to donate.
  One day when she was 3 years old, kidney failure appeared earlier than we expected. The doctor said that it can last for half a year to 9 months. If she can find a matching kidney source and is willing to donate before her kidney fails completely, she still has hope.
  We have increased the scope of the kidney source search and sent a message to more resources, hoping that the kidney source will come soon. At the same time, we have to face another reality: finding the source of the kidney does not mean that it can be transplanted.
  After another three months, we got news and got a suitable kidney source.
  This time everyone did not rejoice prematurely, because we know that it is not so easy for family members to pass this test. We can only let the hospital mediate and negotiate, because the two parties cannot meet before the donation.
  The previous few times, we did not ask too much, because we know that the family and the hospital have tried their best, but this time, it may be Xiao Rui’s last chance. Therefore, the director of the orphanage personally asked the director of the hospital, hoping that they would work harder in the negotiation.
  Although it is impossible for us to know the negotiation process, we believe that the hospital has done its best. There were many negotiations, but the attitude of the family members was very firm and they did not agree to donate.
  Unfortunately.
  I can understand the family. Yes, I believe that if science and technology can save a living organ for several months, there will be family members willing to donate it. However, when their child just passed away, you ran over and told them, donate your child’s kidney to us. Our child needs it very much, and most parents cannot agree to it.
  I started to feel scared.
  As the time estimated by the doctor is getting closer and closer, it is unknown whether there is another kidney source; even if the kidney source is found, whether the family members are willing to donate, we are even more uncertain. At this time, I had to start thinking about death. Since Xiao Rui was born, we have set out to find the source of the kidney. After 3 years, God will really take care of this child and let her get the source of the kidney at the last minute. Will the transplant be successful?
  If it were in a TV series, it would be at the last moment when Xiao Rui was rescued.
  Unfortunately, it is not.
  Yes, Xiao Rui didn’t wait, she left. On a cold winter morning, she was filled with pipes and closed her eyes calmly.
  In fact, in the past few days, we have received a critical illness notice. Many aunts, staff, and volunteers are standing at the door of the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), waiting for miracles and waiting for the source of kidneys to fall from the sky. Although at this time, based on my medical knowledge, I know that even if she has a kidney source, she may not be able to perform the operation, but I still hope that a miracle can happen to this 3-year-old child.
  But not.
  I was holding Xiao Rui and some warm body, tears streaming down, hoping that my tears could wake her up. Although she has only been by my side for 3 years, she is no longer a child of “other people” when she is on her way to find hope.
  When Xiao Rui’s body was completely cold, I had to accept the fact that she was gone, and there would be no miracles anymore.
  When Xiao Rui was critically ill, the Dean of the Welfare Institute had signed an agreement to donate Xiao Rui’s organs to other people in need. Of course, this was the meaning of all the staff. Many years later, I talked to the dean about this, and I asked him, have you hated them? He said, hated, really hated, but understandable, only hope that someone can do more publicity on this matter, so that children like Xiao Rui have a chance to survive.
  What moved me the most was that Xiao Rui died because others refused to donate, but everyone still decided to donate Xiao Rui’s organs.
  The dean finally decided that no matter who Xiaorui’s organ was donated, we would not want to thank each other, we don’t need to know who he (she) is, and we don’t accept any gifts, even a bouquet of flowers. Xiao Rui is gone. This is her life. We decide to donate her organs. This is our choice.

  Xiao Rui is gone, and I am still sad, seeing off the old man and the child, it feels different. To this day, I still miss her smile lying in the cradle. She doesn’t like to trouble others so much. I think she must be very happy that she can contribute something to this world. I believe she must be happy in heaven at this moment.
  I wrote this story, not to encourage everyone to donate organs, let alone moral kidnapping, but I think we can think about it, what is the purpose of saving people? What is the nature of non-donation?
  This still has to return to our attitude towards death. We do not want to admit the passing of life and do not want to face this problem squarely. Perhaps because the deceased was a child, it was even more difficult for us to face it. We couldn’t bear to stab him again, hoping that he would leave peacefully. This is respect for the deceased, this is a matter of common sense, there is nothing to judge.
2

  So I want to tell Xiaowen’s story again.
  Xiaowen was a patient with congenital heart disease. She died at the age of 38. This broken heart had accompanied her for 38 years. She had undergone many operations, and she couldn’t remember the number of times. In the end, her body was completely unable to bear the open operation. At this time, she asked me to contact her about organ donation, because she was still young and other organs were still healthy, so she felt that this was the most important thing she could leave to the world.
  I don’t know if it’s because I told her Xiao Rui’s story. She is always full of feelings about organ donation. When she saw the signed document for the first time, she said to me: “Cien, do you believe it? If Xiaorui is alive, if my kidney can match, I am willing to donate it to her now.”
  Before she could finish, I I said firmly: “I believe it.”
  I saw her eyes full of power. I didn’t tell her that even if Xiaorui is alive, she will not be able to donate successfully. What Xiaorui needs is the kidney of someone similar to her age. However, I am still grateful to this girl for having such a feeling towards the end of her life.
  Heart disease has been with her for so many years. She has been ill for a long time. She knows what symptoms and pains appear in her heart, and she even knows how many days she has left. But in the last days, she was very happy. She happily researched the organ donation protocol and information every day. She also likes to check online and discuss with me how many people she can save based on her physical condition. When the numbers I analyzed for her exceeded her expectations, she smiled.
  I asked her why she was so enthusiastic about this. You know, the success of donation means that you have disappeared in this world.
  ”How could I disappear? My organs are still in this world, and I’m still with you. Unfortunately, I have a broken heart. I heard that the heart is the most powerful connection to the living. If I had one Good heart, and I donated it to others, kindness, and you will definitely become good friends with that person. I am passionate about this thing, just like you are passionate about doing this job, you change the trajectory of a person’s life, not Are you happy? You said that you like this job because you think this job makes you worthy of the word love. I have been in poor health since I was a child. I really haven’t done anything. I want to be worthy of me. Life and love.”
  I will always remember her tone, expression and joy when she said these words.
  But when the death really came, when the doctor gave the final “sentence”, she still cried, crying forbearingly. I watched her for a long time outside the door, and when she saw me, she subconsciously wiped away the tears on her face, and barely squeezed out a smile.
  I walked over, held her hand tightly, and said to her: “It is not a shame to fear death. You have done a great job. You are the best one I have ever seen.”
  Xiaowen hugged me tightly, as if trying to find some strength in me to support her on the road more bravely.
  I was there the day Xiaowen left. I held her hand and she looked at me, smiling and closing her eyes forever.
  Feeling her hands slowly cooling down, I know that she has left forever, but there is no sadness in my heart, it is very peaceful.
  Later, I did not deliberately understand the whereabouts of her organs, how many people were saved, and how they were all doing. I only heard that the parents wanted to contact her family for the two rescued children, but they declined.
  Upon hearing this news, a deep sun shone into the ward, and I knew that Xiaowen had no regrets about his life.
3

  Maybe you think what I want to say is to encourage everyone to consider organ donation. no no! What I want to talk about is still the choice of our inner life.
  I donated hematopoietic stem cells in 2012, and later learned that it was donated to a myeloma patient. One year later, in response to the patient’s strong request, we met (the law stipulates that the two donors cannot meet when the donation is less than one year old, nor can they know who each other is, but if both parties have the will after one year, they can Meet through a third party).
  I am not going to describe this in detail, I just want to talk about my inner world and my inner changes. When we met, the patient, the patient’s family, and the staff of the bone marrow bank all paid tribute to me. They felt that my “dedication” allowed another life to survive. At that time, even I thought that my donation was for he.
  After a long time, when I started to understand it again, I discovered a secret.
  There is no one else outside. I think this beneficiary, or many people I have taken care of, accompanied, and served, I think I help them, no! I just borrowed the way to accompany them to improve my soul, that kind of soul fascinated me. I was very lucky to find a way to “get”. What we get through benefiting others, it goes deep into our body and soul, and it is not as simple as the equivalent of giving and gaining.
  Any so-called “dedication”, I hope that each of us is for ourselves-only for ourselves. “Good people get rewarded”, I don’t like this theory very much. If doing good deeds is to get good rewards, it has become a kind of transaction; if you believe in your belief that doing good should be rewarded, it means that you are far from real good. Therefore, people can only do everything for themselves.
  For others, it will not last long, and there is no real joy inside; only for ourselves, these experiences will reach the depths of our souls. When we feel at ease and willingly want to do something for the lives of others in order to make our lives more textured, at that moment, life is truly continuing, and you will feel unprecedented joy.
  (Autumn Water is excerpted from Changjiang Literature and Art Publishing House “The Last Wish List: The Notes of a Hospice Worker”, photo by Li Chen)
  If you have lived completely, the present moment is enough. There is no need for the afterlife, no eternity, and every moment of life is extremely rich. If you are not happy now, you miss life, miss life.
  ——Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek

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