NJ Sharing Network's Landscape of Life Medication Garden

Steve Adubato goes on-location to the "Landscape of Life" Meditation Garden Dedication at the New Jersey Sharing Network to speak with Mary Ellen McGlynn and Jane Buckiewicz about how organ and tissue donation have changed their lives.

11/1/16 #1915






"We're at the New jersey Sharing Network, and this is a terrific day, the dedication of this very special meditation garden, it's going to have a plaque, the plaque is gonna have the name of Mary Ellen McGlynn, who is family services coordinator at the New Jersey Sharing Network, has put in how many years here? I have been here since 1987, so close to thirty, since it started. You came to this place, why? I was working as a nurse in Newark Beth Israel as an intensive care unit nurse, and I worked with both families of kidney recipients, I saw what happened when they received a transplant, and then I worked with people that were... became donors, and I saw what the families could do. Just kind of seemed like the right place to come. What do families need at this very critical time, at that very critical time, when a family member is giving his or her organs and has passed? I mean, that is something that's extraordinary, a living donor is one thing, but you lose a loved one and that decision has been made, or is being made, what do they need? Right, right, I think my feeling is that the primary thing that they need is a human being talking to them as another human being, compassion, but they need information, they need they need to be taught directly, at the pace that they're ready to receive, they need to know what's going on. They need to know what their options are, and they need time to be present with their loved one. Hmm. And I think we need to ask them what they need, you know. For you, I've often wondered how difficult it is for someone in your position, but how rewarding is it? Oh my god, it's amazing! I'll tell you, just last week I was at a hospital with one of our coordinators with a family, and it made me think of this, when you asked "what do they need?" And I said to her, "What can we do for you now? For the mom?" To the mom of this twenty year old kid who was in a car accident. "What can we do for you now?" And she looked at me and she said, "You're doing it. What you're doing right now is making my son help somebody else, you're helping me by doing that, just do your job right." So it's incredibly emotional and powerful, difficult, but the most rewarding experience that you can be a part of. You know, we in the ceremony today, it was powerful and emotional on a lot of levels..."