Vita Rara: A Life Uncommon

Twitter: You've Added Meaning to My Life and Changed Me

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This past weekend was an emotional roller coaster. It all started with a post on Twitter from Veronica:

Pass this around, if there's anyone you know that could be a liver donor to this little guy So sad.

I was checking my Twitter feed on my iPhone just before going to bed Friday night, after a long day of work and family. I read that tweet, followed the link, read the blog post about Wyatt's fight for life, put the phone on my night stand haunted. I couldn't get it out of my head. I couldn't pick up my phone and continue my life as I had before reading that tweet. I'm a new father, and I could only imagine being in the same situation and crying out for help. Echoing in my head was:

And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world."
-Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:8 (37a)

I wanted to be able to pick the phone up, and have the coordinator say, "no, you're not eligible," and go on with my life. But I knew if I picked up that phone and that coordinator said, "yes, you're a potential candidate," it was going to start a whole series of events that might lead to me getting on a plane and heading to California.

My wife and I quickly researched the issues of live liver donation. After reading and looking at the clinical evidence I was much less scared, my wife supported my decision, and I picked up the phone and called. The risks are minimal to the donor, and the upside is so tremendous for the recipient it just made sense.

I got the liver transplant coordinator's voice mail. Left a message. I still couldn't sleep. Called back again and had the coordinator paged. Finally she called back. I was told they didn't take anonymous third party donations, that it wasn't ethical (that's a whole different conversation). So, that was a dead end. I was honestly disappointed.

So, from that point out my wife and I followed the blog to keep track of Wyatt. In the end Wyatt lost his fight for life.

I can only imagine how his parents are fairing my prayers go out to them in their time of need. Myself, if it wasn't for Twitter I would never have known of this little boy's struggle for life. I would never have faced a decision to pick up a phone in the middle of the night to make a call like that. This series of events, starting from a post on has effected me deeply. Who would have thought that such a "punch" could be packed into 140 characters.

My hat is off to Twitter. One hundred forty characters, infinite meaning.