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>> My name is Kathryn Jennell. My husband was involved in a car accident on March 6
in 2006. He was a pedestrian, and he was hit by a car.
>> Kathryn's husband was brought in with this devastating brain injury that required him
to be on life support. He and his wife had discussed the fact that he did not want to
be kept alive on life support.
>> That for him would be prison, and we all knew it. And so that's when we decided to
let him go. And when the time came, I pulled out the health directive. I followed his request
to the "T" and one of them was organ donation.
>> In most patients, organ donation occurs after brain death. In a small percentage of
patients, however, organ donation occurs after the heart stops. This is considered to be
donation after cardiac death. In 2006, UCI Medical Center, like most hospitals in the
United States, did not have a policy that allowed us to use organs after cardiac death.
>> He had to be moved to Western Medical. They had the procedures and the protocol to
accomodate patients like my husband for organ donation. Now watching all the paramedics
and the ambulance standing there trying to move my husband, at that I thought I made
a mistake. My husband had a chance to die in a hospital surrounded by his family, but
now I made a choice where he can die on the street, in an ambulance, where he won't be
surrounded by family. When we got to Western Med I had to sit down and talk to the administrator,
check my husband in, tell the whole story on why we're there, why he's being admitted,
who I was, and that was bothersome. But I didn't want this to happen to another family.
So I wrote a letter to Dr. Spiritus, and I told him about my experience and how I felt
when they moved him.
>> I called Kathryn on the phone and promised her that I would, in fact, make certain that
a policy was developed. And within a year, we had that policy in place. We've now been
successful in assisting many other families with donation after cardiac death.
>> The stipulation of the program was I had to be involved.
>> Most hospitals have an organ donor council to assist in this process. UCI is probably
the first hospital in the country to ask a family member to be part of that council and,
in fact, Kathryn is that person for us. We ask her, "How do you feel about this? What
do you think about this? What do you think families would feel about this?" I think that's
really important for us, because, you know, we get caught up in the day-to-day issues.
But it's really nice to have somebody that's been there, that's felt it, that's had to
make that really hard decision, and to feel good about what we do.
>> His kidneys went to two men, and they were doing well. And his liver went to another
gentleman in his 50s, who's been on the waiting list for a couple of years and who's doing
very well. I discussed it with the kids, what happened to Daddy's body and that we donated
his organs. The first thing that came out of my daughter's mouth was, my four year old,
was "Daddy did good even when he passed away," and I said, "Yes, Daddy did good when he passed