Thursday, February 9, 2012

Burke Gave Life

Sarah Burke
Sarah Burke (Photo credit: taylor and africa)
When I first heard about Sarah Burke's death, my first thought was, "What a tragedy - she's so young and talented." Later on, I learned that some good came out of it.

Burke, a Canadian freestyle skier, died in Utah back in January after a skiing accident during a practice run. She was considered to be one of the medal favorites in the 2014 Olympics. According to reports, she crashed and fell on her neck, while practicing on the half-pipe, rupturing her vertebral artery. The vertebral artery supplies blood to the brain. The rupture led to an internal hemorrhage resulting in cardiac arrest. Although Burke underwent a successful operation to repair the injury, the cardiac arrest cut off her supply of oxygen for too long and that's what led to her death.

Burke's family and friend's are still coping with her sudden death, but hopefully they find some comfort in the fact that some good came out of her death. Burke wanted to be an organ and tissue donor, and the family's publicist said that, "In accordance with Sarah's wishes, her family has donated her organs and tissues to save the lives of others." Somewhere today, other families are rejoicing because their loved one is still alive because Sarah Burke chose to be a hero. In addition to being remembered as a talented athlete and champion skier, she should always be remembered for being a caring person that chose to give life, too.

The other thing I thought about in regards to Sarah Burke's death is that in a way she was fortunate. She died doing what she loved to do. How many people get to do that ? Too many times we have to watch loved ones suffer through lengthy illnesses before they finally succumb to them. Sarah's situation also reminded me of 2001 when Dale Earnhardt, one of my heroes, passed away doing what he loved. That was a painful time for me and many others, but as time has went on, I've realized how truly blessed Dale was to die at the racetrack. I suspect that if you could ask Sarah or Dale if they agreed with my hypothesis, they'd both likely say 'yes'.

Five years ago, a caring man did for me what Sarah Burke did for some others. If you haven't yet registered as an organ and tissue donor, let me encourage you to do so today. You can make a difference, too. Just visit the Donate Life America website by clicking here to learn more, including how to register in the state where you live.

Source : allvoices.com article titled Aftermath of Sarah Burke's Tragic Demise


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