Recipient Information

Many donor families ask whether they can have contact with their loved one’s recipients. Some wonder how their loved one’s organ recipients are doing months and years after the transplant or wish they knew how many people were helped with their loved one’s tissue, such as bone and skin.

Organ Donation

If your loved one donated organs, such as kidneys, pancreas, liver, lungs or heart, we can request a medical update on the recipient and provide information on the letter writing process, should you wish to initiate contact.

Tissue and Cornea Donation

If your loved one donated tissue, such as corneas, heart valves, veins, skin and/or bone, we can request a tissue update if it has been over nine months since your loved one’s donation.

Request an update on organ recipients or tissue donation outcome.

 

Organs

Within the first few months of your loved one’s donation, you should receive a letter providing information about what organs were able to be transplanted. Depending on what information was released from the transplant center, there may be some social information about the recipients as well.

Organ Medical Update

Before you request an update, make sure you have support in your life and feel ready to deal with favorable news as well as the possibility that your loved one’s recipients are not doing well, been re-transplanted, have died, or that they have not been seen by their transplant center for a recent check-up, which means that we are unable to provide an update. Some people are just happy knowing they did what they could to help and don’t want to deal with potential bad news, and in this case, aren’t ready to request an update. Other people just want to know either way.

If you are ready to proceed with requesting an update, click here.

 

Tissue

Within the first few months of your loved one’s donation, you should receive a phone call providing you the option to learn about what tissue was recovered for transplant and how that tissue can be utilized.

Requesting a tissue update can take place 9 months after donation. Due to tissue regulations and the lengthy quality assurance process, it will take some time before the tissue is able to be used for transplant. Many things can happen along the way (testing, medical record review, evaluation of the tissue measurements) that may deem the tissue not suitable for transplant.

Due to complexities involved with transplantation of donated tissue, we are unable to forward correspondence from donor families to tissue recipients. However, if we receive correspondence from your loves one’s tissue recipient, we will forward along to you.

 

Tissue Uses

Tissue donation is a gift of immeasurable value as there are many thousands of people waiting for a tissue transplant that will enable them to return to a normal life.

Here are some common uses for donated tissue:

  • Bone and ligament tissue may restore quality of life to those that may have suffered traumatic injuries, joint injuries, cancerous tumors, back injuries, or degenerative disease.
  • Cornea and posterior pole tissues can give sight to one or two people who have been devastated by the loss of sight.
  • Whole heart for heart valve tissues may help up to two people who may have suffered from heart disease or children born with birth defects.
  • Pericardium (the layer of tissue around the heart) tissue can repair a patient’s shoulder or to help with cardiac/heart surgeries or breast reconstruction.
  • Vein tissues may be used to replace blocked arteries in heart-bypass surgery or in peripheral vascular reconstruction surgery where a bypass is required or to help save a patient’s limb.
  • Skin tissue can be used to fill soft tissue loss from cancer or trauma, to repair hernia injuries, to restore bladder control in the treatment of incontinence, and used in periodontal surgery to correct gingival defects.

Tissue Update

Before you request an update, make sure you have support in your life and feel ready to deal with favorable news as well as the possible news that nothing was able to be transplanted. Some people are just happy knowing they did what they could to help and don’t want to deal with potentially bad news, and in this case, aren’t ready to request an update. Other people just want to know either way.

When tissue is utilized for transplant, tissue trace cards are sent back to the tissue transplant partner. Each tissue transplant partner provides the outcome information in different ways, which means that the information details could range from knowing the potential uses of the grafts to the number of grafts created. Some tissue transplant partners are able to share the number of surgeries performed or even provide recipient information such as gender, age, and state where the surgery took place or type of surgery performed. Please know our team will share all of the information given to us by the tissue transplant partner.

If you are ready to proceed with requesting an update, click here.