The process of having an evaluation for an organ transplant can be stressful, no matter what the outcome. The outcomes can range from being eligible for a transplant, to receiving a new organ, and beyond.
This journey can change a person's life, and the lives of their family members or caregivers. It's crucial, for all involved in the transplant process, to have a strong support system.
Transplant support groups can help ease the stress of both transplant candidates and those who are caring for them.
Support groups are a great way for people on this journey to:
- Get information from others who are going down the same medical path.
- Validate their fears.
- Hear others' transplant stories and experiences.
Beginning with the time that you have your organ transplant evaluation, your transplant coordinator will tell you about the support groups or other services we offer at UPMC.
Ways Transplant Support Groups Can Help
You might look to different support groups based on what phase of the transplant process you're in. Are you looking for pre-transplant support, posttransplant support, or simply support for caregivers?
You may look to these groups for answers or advice on issues such as:
- Coping with an organ transplant — what have others' experiences been like?
- Being on the organ transplant waiting list — how long have others waited? What's it like when you get "the call"?
- Readjusting after the transplant — how long until I will feel better?
- Emotional support after transplant — will I feel guilty?
- Caring for a transplant patient — will I be able to do it by myself?
The focus during the organ transplant process is often on the patient. This person may be very sick, worried about their finances and health, and anxious about whether they will receive an organ.
Caregivers feel these same emotions, just from a different perspective.
Those who commit to taking this journey with a person in need of an organ transplant may not even realize that there are resources aimed specifically at them.
UPMC's transplant team has many resources for caregivers. Caregivers can also find online support.
Online Transplant Support
For transplant patients, families, and caregivers
For organ-specific transplant information