Elise says that if you’re grieving over Mike and would like something constructive to do, sign your organ donor card. As she said, “One of the best medical things that ever happened to Mike was the kidney transplant he got in November of 2000.” She’s reprinted the piece she wrote about it at the time.
I’ll second her opinion. That transplant made an amazing difference in Mike’s life. Before, he was tied to a constant regimen of ambulatory peritoneal dialysis—and frankly, even with the dialysis he wasn’t doing too well.
Then a really prime donor kidney turned up that was an excellent tissue match for Mike. Sixteen hours later he was wheeled out of the recovery room. The new kidney started working within days. That transplant may have added years to Mike’s life. What’s inarguable is how much it improved the quality of the life he had. So sign your cards.
(I’ll always remember Mike explaining that when they put in a new kidney, they don’t take out the old one: “Now if I’m in the same room with Teresa Nielsen Hayden,* the count comes out even.”)