When the Lights Are Turned Off
In “The Gift that Heals” (www.authorhouse.com) Mindy Zoll, then a transplant coordinator with TransLife, the organ procurement organization in central Florida, described the operating room -- at one time crowded and noisy with perhaps 15 or 20 people in it -- as the removal of a donor’s organs comes to an end. “The first surgeon will take the heart and he’s gone, already on the roof and into the helicopter or in an ambulance, with the lights and sirens going, while the others are still working. One by one each team leaves and, in the end, it’s just two or three people cleaning up, and everything is quiet again,” she said.
“I generally help put the patient in a shroud before they are taken to the morgue and I always thank them for what they gave. I think of their family at home, in a house that suddenly seems empty, and I want them to feel that I cared for their loved one, just like I would my own.”