Bates County Coroner Greg Mullinax has been away at Coroner’s Convention and training most of the week, so he is getting caught up on paperwork. Deputy Coroner Miller handled cases while Coroner Mullinax was away and did an excellent job. You can probably imagine how busy the coroner’s office has been since Covid, so there have been many of these late nights.
In the mail on Coroner Mullinax’s desk was a letter from Transplant Network. The coroner’s office had handled a case in which the decedent wished to be an organ donor and Coroner Mullinax cooperated to facilitate the request. The letter tells him the end of the story. Where each organ went – the quality of each person’s life before transplant, and how they have been doing in their new life after transplant.
It is not required that the Transplant Network does this. But Coroner Mullinax thinks somebody realized they usually have no idea what ever happened, and he might like to know his extra efforts did positively affect somebody’s life. You see in Missouri; the coroner can override organ donation if they think it would hinder or obstruct an investigation like an autopsy. But in almost all cases, Coroner Mullinax can accommodate the donation if he changes some of the ways he does things. Coroner Mullinax try very hard to honor those wishes and almost never override them.
But getting letters like this, he always winds up reading every detail. It is amazing the impact organ donation has and amazes him at the number of people who benefit. Coroner Mullinax always go back and retrieve the deceased person’s file and place the letter there. He does not have to… but it just seems like the right thing to do.
Coroner Mullinax know the deceased’s family gets the letter too. He hopes they know the impact of their choices. We are all here to help each other, after all.