The author is a former undersecretary for the environm
Rising registrations and better technology improve prospects of quicker availability
When Zhao Xueming, a middle school math teacher in Beij
ing, knew he had late-stage liver cancer in February last year, he felt despair.
“I was scared to the soul, and I thought about death every day,” he said.
By then, Zhao, who was 36 at the time, had received various treatme
nts at Beijing Tsinghua Changgung Hospital for four months. However, he believed he had s
ome other liver disease, since his parents, in order to avoid frightening him, never told him the truth.
“The treatments didn’t work well,” he said. “At l
Zhao was lucky. He waited for just around two weeks for an available organ, which was distributed through a national compu
terized organ sharing system, and had an operation that lasted for more than 10 hours in March last year.
He later learned that the organ donor was a young person who died in a car accident
in Hubei province, more than 1,000 kilometers away, but he doesn’t know further details.
In March, a year after the surgery, Zhao enrolled to become an organ dono
r at an organ-donation promotional event held at Beijing Tsinghua Changgung Hospital.
ast my doctor decided to have a liver transplant surgery for me to save my life.”