Organ Donation: It's All About Heart

When he wasn’t sharing his faith with others, pastor Kenny Robbins of Monticello, Miss., supported his family by driving a truck. In his 25 years behind the wheel, he logged more than 2 million accident-free miles. During the last few years of his driving career he wrote several gospel trucking songs including hits, “No Scales In Heaven” and “What if Jesus Came to L.A. in a Big White Peterbilt.”

Robbins, 48, combined his music and his love of trucking by forming a full-time ministry called The Dream Tour to reach truckers through gospel music. And it was a huge success.

On July 23, 1997, Robbins tour was cut short when he suffered a major heart attack that destroyed 85 percent of his heart muscle. It eventually became apparent that he would need a heart transplant to survive. In May of 1998, Robbins entered Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, where he was placed on the national heart transplant waiting list. He was told he had a little more than three months to live.

On July 12, 1998, after eights weeks of painful waiting, Robbins received his new heart. He had a remarkable recovery and was soon able to resume touring.
“God is using this to reach even more drivers and is opening doors to many different venues,” Robbins said. “Organ donor awareness is now a vital part of each concert or event for which we are thankful.”

Robbins said he considers himself “blessed and lucky.” He and his wife, Harriett, have recently signed a long-term agreement with Journey Records. Their first project was released in June. “One donor can save or enhance the lives of as many as 50 people,” he said. “That definitely qualifies a person as a hero in my book.”

Robbins and his wife will be leading a fellowship service at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas on Sunday, Sept. 8.

Are You an Organ donor?
Source: poll (152 responses)

Giving is Simple as Saying ‘Yes’

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing an average of 15 people die each day because of a lack of available organs for transplant. To compound the problem, every 13 minutes another name is added to the national transplant waiting list.

There are currently nearly 80,000 men, women and children awaiting a life-saving transplant. Recent Department of Motor Vehicles statistics show that only 30 percent of all drivers are designated organ donors.

How can you do it? Simply say “yes” to becoming an organ donor the next time you have your driver’s license renewed. You can also carry an organ donor card with you that will specify exactly which organs you wish to donate. You can have a donor card sent to you by calling 1-800-355-SHARE.

Donor Q&A

Who can become an organ donor?
All individuals can indicate their intent to donate. Medical suitability for donation is determined at the time of death.

Are there age limits for donors?
There are no age limitations on who can donate. Persons under 18 years of age must have a parent’s or guardian’s consent.

How do I express my wishes to become a donor?

  1. Indicate your intent to be a donor on your driver’s license.
  2. Carry an organ donor card.
  3. Tell your family about your decision.

What can be donated?
Organs: heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines.
Tissue: cornea, skin, bone marrow, heart valves and connective tissue.

If I sign a donor card, will it affect the quality of care I receive at the hospital?
No. Every effort will be made to save your life before donation is even considered.

Will donation disfigure my body?
Donation does not disfigure the body and does not interfere with having a funeral, including open casket services.

Are there any costs to my family for donation?
The donor’s family does not pay for the cost of donation. The costs related to donation are paid by the recipient, usually through insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.

How are organs distributed?
Patients are matched to organs based on a number of factors including blood and tissue typing, medical urgency, time on waiting list, and geographical location.