Within the first few months of your loved one's donation, you should receive a letter providing information on what tissue was recovered for transplant and how that tissue can be utilized.
Due to tissue regulations and the lengthy quality assurance process, it will take some time before the tissue is able to be used for transplant. Many things can happen along the way (testing, medical record review, evaluation of the tissue measurements) that may deem the tissue not suitable for transplant. Requesting a tissue update can be requested 12 months after donation.
Unfortunately, due to complexities involved with transplantation of donated tissue, we are unable to forward correspondence from donor families to tissue recipients. However, if we receive correspondence from your loved one's tissue recipient, we will contact you and see if you would like to receive this type of correspondence.
Before you request an update, it may be helpful to rely on your support system and ensure you are able deal with good news as well as the possible news that nothing was able to be transplanted. Some people are just happy knowing they did what they could to help and don't want to deal with potential bad news, and in this case, aren't ready to request an update. Other people just want to know either way.
When tissue is utilized for transplant, tissue trace cards are sent back to the processor and when we request an update, the processor informs us of the number of surgeries performed to date with the donated tissue. Sometimes the processors can provide information such as the recipient's gender, age, state where the surgery took place or type of surgery performed.
If you are ready to proceed with requesting an update, please contact our Life Anew Program Coordinator by completing this form or by call (800) 200-2672. Please indicate you'd like to receive a medical update and include your donor's full name and date of birth, and your full name and phone number. You must be the legal next of kin on record to request an update.