The grieving parents of 2-year-old drowning victim Elianna DePasquale have used their darkest moment to offer a hopeful one for others by agreeing to donate Elianna's organs. The parents say it is a tribute to their daughter, who was always looking to help others. Their generosity should inspire and motivate others who face tragic circumstances of their own. Organ donations save lives.
Elianna's death came soon after an organ transplant case made national headlines. Sarah Murnaghan is the 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl with cystic fibrosis who received an adult lung transplant last week after a federal judge put her on an adult list after no pediatric lungs were available.
Court fights over transplants happen because the United States suffers from a persistent shortage of organs. Nearly 120,000 people are waiting for an organ that would save their lives, including more than 2,000 children, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last year, there were only 14,000 organ donors, including nearly 6,000 from living donors, resulting in 28,000 organ transplants.
If everyone who understood the need for more organs became a donor (and in Florida residents can designate their intention to be an organ donor on their driver's license) there would be no waiting list. Elianna's parents have taken this selfless step, and as a result two people received her heart valves. Others should follow their example.