Donation and transplantation among African-Americans
Statistics from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) show that in 2020 African Americans/Blacks represented 13.4 percent of the overall U.S. population, but made up 35 percent of all patients in the U.S. receiving dialysis for kidney failure and 32 percent of patients waiting for a kidney transplant. The positive news is the number of kidney transplants for Black recipients has increased 44 percent since 2014, but more needs to be done. Source
Donation will mutilate my body.
Donated organs and tissues are removed surgically, in a routine operation similar to open heart surgery. Donation doesn’t prevent an open casket funeral or viewing.
Imagine performing a kidney transplant without the aid of donor blood. That’s just what Rodney Parrish’s surgeons did in 1993. Rodney’s beliefs as a Jehovah’s Witness prohibit him from accepting blood products, so his surgeons used the erythropoietin hormone to increase Rodney’s blood hematocrits, giving him an extra cushion in case he began to bleed.
It worked. Rodney’s new kidney has since enabled him to shoot more hoops, travel all over the world for his work, and spend more time with his beloved wife, children and grandchildren.