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A Gift of Life: A Page From the Life of a Living Organ Donor [Paperback]

Lynn Chabot-Long
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1996 0965055558 978-0965055550 1
This is the extraordinary story of an ordinary family caught in a life or death struggle to save one of their own. With the possibility of a sibling becoming a living organ donor, this courageous family had to face the fact that they could lose not one, but two members. This story is told in a light hearted, yet no-holds-barred manner.

During the process of becoming a donor, the author discovered that there was no information to be found concerning the donors point of view. This book has become the reource for those families considering organ donation and those who have already donated. Even though it is told from the donor's point of view, it focuses on the recipient as well.

This book has been endorsed by members of organizations such as: UNOS, the National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin, the National Donor Family Council, and the New York Regional Transplant Program to name a few.

Editorial Reviews


InTouch Book Review: July 1997 This book is a superb resource for those families considering living organ donation. It is ideal for the non-clinical reader, especially for the patient awaiting a living-related transplant. It is also a good teaching tool for the patients undergoing work-ups as living-related donors (LRD). She [the author] describes the living donation process and all that it entails.

Ms. Chabot-Long discusses the risks, fears, and hopes of one who has actually experienced this tribulation. She delves into the many spiritual and emotional self-scrutinies one must explore before deciding to donate a kidney to a loved one. She describes in great detail the factors involved in making the decision to donate her kidney. She discusses not only what it meant for herself, but her spouse and children as well.

For the patient weighing the options of dialysis versus transplant, this book clearly spells out the differences in quality of life for both methods. It is made clear that dialysis doesn t really cure kidney failure. It's a way to treat it.... The only thing that really cures it is a successful transplant. She also poignantly explains what the recipient should expect after transplant, that is, the side effects of immunosuppressants, the anti-rejection drugs, and strict diet regimen to be followed.

She expands on the ethical dilemma of the concept of living related donations: that is, the question of taking an organ from a perfectly healthy individual and transplanting it into an individual who is extremely ill, or who may even die.

Her resources are valid and well-founded with accurate details that provide valuable information and insight. This is a very accurate portrayal of the living donor process and how it affects the entire family. It is a wonderful tool for anyone facing these life decisions. -- NATCO (North American Transplant Coordinators Organization)

A Gift of Life is insightful, moving, a personal, intimate, compelling report. It is a valuable resource that will go a long way in understanding the difficult issues of organ donation. -- Meg Black, Director of Communications, UNOS-United Network for Organ Sharing: 1996

It is with great pleasure that I introduce a new resource to you, your affiliate staff and to the patients that you serve.... Lynn Chabot-Long has written a book describing her experiences as a living-related donor.

I know our office gets calls weekly from potential donors and recipients all with some of the same questions. Looking for information, not even sure what questions to ask. The decisions these individuals have to make impact lives in all kinds of ways. This book will help any reader understand not only the information, but also the emotion of living-related donation.

I would recommend that A Gift of Life become a permanent part of your Affiliate's library and offered as a resource for those individuals considering a living-related transplant. It has been a welcome addition to our information sharing network. -- Cindy Huber, Executive Director, National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin, in an open letter to her affiliates: 1996

The book [A Gift of Life: A Page From the Life of A Living Organ Donor] is a magnificent effort and very well describes for prospective donors the process that [Lynn] went through.

This ultimately is a very important publication because cadaver donors are in very short supply and living-related donors continue to be very much needed. -- Dr. David T. Uehling, Professor of Surgery, Chairman, Division of Urology, University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School: Book Review 1996

From the Back Cover

A Gift of Life would seem to be a wonderful resource for transplant candidates considering donation and living donors and their recipients who have shred this experience.(Margaret B. Coolican, RN, MS; Chair National Donor Family Council, New York, NY)

Ordinary people doing extraordinary thins is at the heart of A Gift of Life. This story is an honest,no holds barred account of one family's courageous fight against kidney failure through Living Organ Donation. Written in a clear fashion, this story documents a family's journey to return one of their own to good health. All dramas have their heroes and in this story there are many. Traditionally in the exciting world of organ transplantation, attention has focused on the caregivers, the surgeons, and physicians. But those of us involved in this field, consider the organ donors and the recipients of organ transplants as the real heroes. A Gift of Life will provide valuable insight and information for all those facing the spectre of kidney disease or considering organ donation.(Allan Roza, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery Department of Transplant Surgery Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Lynn Chabot-Long has written a very honest and realistic portrayal of the living-related donor process and its effect on an entire family. This book will be a useful tool for any family who is facing end-stage renal disease and consideration of living-related kidney donation.(Hans W. Sollinger, MD, PhD; Chairman Division of Organ Transplantation University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison, Wisconsin)

Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Je-Lynn Publications; 1 edition (July 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965055558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965055550
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,510,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book provided what I needed August 29, 2000
As I write this review, I am preparing to share the author's experience: I am donating a kidney to a friend who has suffered kidney failure. So much of what Ms Chabot-Long experienced I am now experiencing. The decision to give up a kidney is a very emotional one and I can relate to much of what the author went through. I discovered that she had the same experience that I am going through in that it reached the point where she would have been disappointed if for any reason, she could not have done it. I wanted a good, vivid account of what awaits me in the future and Ms Chabot-Long provides such an account. I feel that I have been clued in as to what awaits me both physically and emotionally. I know that the recovery from the surgery is likely to be painful and I have been given a good firsthand account of what I can expect. I was charmed and moved by her description of her family and what they went through in supporting her. The support I have been receiving has made me very emotional. The author is not a professional writer and it is clear that she did not have a professional editor. She and her husband published the book themselves so the writing style is not necessarily smooth and contains grammatical errors. However, I can easily overlook that since the book hits home as to my personal needs. Furthermore, the author did a fair amount of research and provides technical information in a style understandable to lay people. I recommend this book to anyone who wants good. reliable information on what a kidney donor goes through.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Way too many pages from the life of a living donor March 27, 2000
By A Customer
As a librarian and a fairly sophisticated user of information, I was indeed pleased to locate this title. My brother had just started dialysis and our family was looking into the pros and cons of living versus cadaver donation. A first-person account of the transplant experience from the point of view of the donor and the recipient was just the sort of introductory material my brother and I were looking for.
Unfortunately, what useful information one could locate on end-stage renal disease, dialysis, the transplantation decision, the surgery or its aftermath was buried under pages and pages of irrelevant detail about the author's family, or was mired in hopelessly inelegant prose, full of glaring errors of grammar and tense. The excerpt of the book that follows the editorial reviews of this title is a perfect example of why clear and concise writing and careful editing are so important.
Given the subtitle "a page from the life of a living donor" one would certainly expect a certain level of personal detail to accompany the facts. Yet Ms. Chabot-Long's account reads like the breathless entries in a teenager's " dear diary." And do we really need to know (over several pages) why it took so long for her to be discharged from the hospital? Hint: this essential bodily function often slows down after surgery. You really don't want to go there.
This account would have been much better if it had been presented as an article in a magazine. It would have forced the author or her editor to stress facts and to highlight the decision-making process that her family used when they faced this crisis.
My brother and I skimmed the book in about an hour and were much better served by the articles I found in reference books, in periodicals, and on the web.
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