March 28, 2022

Never Rule Yourself Out- Five Common Misconceptions Hospice Patients’ Loved Ones Have

Written by: Monica Myles

Donation is a highly coordinated effort that requires cooperation, expertise and support from an array of professional partners, including hospices across Nevada. Nevada Donor Network supports our hospice partners by providing education, resources and supplies to assist in their support of our mission. Hospice partnerships with Nevada Donor Network are entirely voluntary, which illustrates their commitment to saving and healing lives. Without these partnerships, many opportunities for cornea and tissue donation would simply be lost.

Why do many people count their loved one(s) or themselves out? There are many misconceptions when it comes to donation and hospice patients. Here are the five most common misconceptions people have:

1. Misconception- My loved one is too sick to donate.

**Truth- Everyone has the potential to donate regardless of age, medical history and race/ethnicity. Many medical conditions still allow for donation. Don’t ever rule loved ones or yourself out. Each potential donor hero is screened on an individual basis by Nevada Donor Network’s hardworking team to determine if donation is a possibility.

2. Misconception- My loved one’s funeral plans will be delayed.

**Truth- Donation is a time-sensitive decision, so our team is always available for recovery to take place as soon as the proper information is obtained. We work directly with funeral homes across the state to ensure any time frames requested for services are met.

3. Misconception- There will be a cost for my loved one’s donation.

**Truth- You will never have to pay for costs associated with donation. Costs related to donation are paid by the recipient, usually through insurance, Medicaid and/or Medicare.

4. Misconception- My religion doesn’t support donation.

**Truth- All major religions support donation and the importance of saving another person’s life when given the chance and consider it the ultimate act of charity. The decision to become a heroic donor is personal. Nevada Donor Network respects every individual’s right to make the choice.

5. Misconception- Hospice patients can’t be organ donors.

**Truth- To be eligible for solid organ donation, a hospice patient must be in a controlled environment (I.E., a hospital or an inpatient hospice unit located in a hospital), where organ recovery can occur at the time of a heroic donor’s passing. Most hospice patients who become heroic donors can donate tissues and corneas, which will give the gift of sight to two people and will heal more than 75 people.

On behalf of our heroic donors, Nevada Donor Network made the gift of life and healing possible for thousands of tissue recipients and the gift of sight for 1,775 cornea recipients in 2021.

Want to learn more about Nevada Donor Network’s relationship with Nathan Adelson, the largest hospice provider in Nevada? View this video!

NAH YouTube Video Screenshot


Meet, Joi… Nevada Donor Network’s Director of Donation Services and grateful cornea recipient. She shared, “I vividly remember the moment that changed my life. I was six years old. Two weeks after my brothers had chickenpox, I did too. The not so pleasant itching spread all over my body, but unlike most people, it spread to my right eyelid which led to an infection in my right eye. When I finally wasn’t contagious, I saw several ophthalmologists because of this rare complication. Over the next few years, my life changed so much. My family transferred to the Philippines for my Father’s U.S. Naval assignment. I continued using steroid drops and ointment each day. My vision began deteriorating. They realized the ophthalmologist there couldn’t give me the care I needed then we moved to California. As a 16-year-old, I was confused and scared. When given the option of surgery and a new cornea, I chose more eye drops and glasses. I lived legally blind in one eye for many years. Poor depth perception, running into things and falling all the time became routine. I’d always let others know I was clumsy vs. being transparent about my disability. This allowed me to play sports and deny the deep-rooted fear of losing my eye. In my mid-twenties, my journey began with the Nevada Donor Network! I learned so much about cornea donation and transplant process, it moved me. In August of 2010, I successfully recovered from my corneal transplant. Without a doubt, it changed my life. Each donor family I interact with, I approach with compassion and a heart filled with gratitude. It’s someone like their loved one that gave me my life back. I’m literally able to see through the eye of a hero.”


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Inspired to become a hero like the hero who gave Joi the gift of sight? Register to be a hero here!