Friday, April 20, 2018

You never know the life you save....become an organ donor!


The week of April 23-27 has been designated as National Pediatric Transplant Week.  This week is to bring attention to the great need for organ donations and to honor  donors and their families whose incredibly selfless gift has given someone the gift of life.
While most of us will never experience the need for a transplant, there are many of us who know someone who has a debilitating condition such as kidney dialysis that are in need of a transplant.
Right now there are almost 2,000 children on the national transplant list.  Those needing hearts, lungs, eyes, tissue, liver, kidney, or some other body part are waiting for help.  But they can’t wait forever. 
Out of sight, out of mind is how we tend to live each day…if we aren’t experiencing the situation in our own circle of family and friends, we aren’t really affected by it.   But take a moment to think about it….children who were burned in fires need skin tissue….others were born with heart defects that prevent them from living a full life.  When you see these situations, your heart goes out to them.  Can you imagine being the parent of a child needing a transplant…the worry, the stress, the fear that your child may die before an organ is available?
Fortunately there is something each of us can do to help.   Become an organ donor.  While adult sized organs can’t always be used for a child, many things can such as eyes because your eyes are the same size at birth as they are when you are an adult.   Can you imagine giving someone the gift of sight who has never seen the beauty of nature?  How awe-inspiring it must be for a recipient to catch their first glimpse of the world!
Tissue transplants can be sized to the area of need.  Livers can be divided.  Skin can be cut to size.  What exciting possibilities they offer! So what can be donated?  Many things!  Hearts, pancreas, livers, kidneys, intestines, lungs,  skin tissue, corneas, veins, tendons, bones and stem cells to name a few. 
And while there are living donations, most donations are designated after death.  A piece of you continues to live on through someone else. What a legacy to leave!
You may find more information on giving the gift of life  at https://www.organdonor.gov/index.html or for pediatric donations https://www.donatelife.net/types-of-donation/pediatric-donation/.

Free Seminar on Childhood Depression and Suicide

If you are worried about whether your child is depressed or suicidal, we invite you to attend a free presentation entitled: "Our Epidemic of Depression and Suicide: Addressing Despair in Children and Adolescents.

Hosted by child and adolescent  psychiatrist Dr. Thomas DiMatteo who will talk about how depression and suicide are affecting our children and its impact on families.    Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in young people.

If you have any concerns about whether your child is suffering, we urge you to attend this important  discussion which will be held:
Thursday, April 26th
7:00pm-8:30pm
Good Shepherd Church
1310 Shepherd Drive, Naperville
Registration or fee not required
Questions:  Tracy Takeda ,MA, LCPC at 630-357-2456 ext.104 or ttakeda@samaracarecounseling.org.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Frontline Voices: Delivering on the front lines of Ghouta.

Dr. Jihad Shoshara was in Ghouta, Syria last week with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) providing healthcare services to refugees who suffered another horrific chemical attack over the weekend.  Many were killed or injured including innocent children.   Ghouta is located  just outside of the biblical town of Damascus.  While there, Dr. Shoshara had the opportunity to speak about the struggles and risks that front line medical providers face.  

For us in the United States, the war seems a million miles away.  We’ve heard about the conflict for years now and maybe because it isn’t something we’re living through it doesn’t impact us much.  But for those who are living through it, those whose relatives are living through it, it’s a nightmare. 

Dr. Shoshara knows first-hand about the struggles of the refugees.  He has gone back for several years now to help. You can imagine how worrisome it is for his wife and his three children when he goes.  But like most physicians, medicine is a calling for him.  And what greater need is there than people impacted by war.  Dr. Shoshara has family and friends in Syria still.  Many have lost everything….their jobs, their homes, family members who have been killed.  It weighs heavily on his heart.

His talk was on the current deficit of 18 million health workers and the need to increase investment, training, and advocacy for those delivering on the front lines of care. To commemorate this year‘s world health worker week from April 1 to April 7, 2018, the frontline health workers coalition, United Nations foundation, and Johnson and Johnson Global Community partnered to host “Health Heroes + Social Good: empowering health workers worldwide,” an event to inspire action and investment to address a critical challenges and solutions in the health workforce. “

....while on another international front


Dr. Timothy Wall recently returned from Honduras where he and workers from his non-
profit foundation, The CareLink  Foundation, met with other groups working in the area 
to discuss how they could pull their resources together to more effectively improve living 
conditions for the residents of the area.   CareLink provides water filters to Honduran 
families to reduce the risk of parasitic diseases they encounter from drinking water from 
the local river.  

CareLink also provides micro-financing to families to start small businesses to provide 
the opportunity to become financially stable so they may care for their families.

Like Dr. Shoshara, he too provides healthcare services while there.  Back at home, PHA 
staff are always happy to welcome them home.