Sara has got me reading up on Nate and Tricia. I've found myself checking in multiple times a day to see whether or not there is anything new. This post, in which Nate thanks the family of the organ donor, whose lungs will help his wife live a healthier and more productive life, hit really close to home for me. Twice in my life, I have been that "organ donor family." And although it made me cry, I was so grateful to him for this post.
Both my mom and my baby brother were organ donors. When Matt died, we donated the only part of his body still healthy enough to be harvested. His corneas. Unfortunately, for some unspecified reason, they were unable to be transplanted.
They were used, instead, for research purposes. I know that research is important, too. Without research, there would be no corneal transplants and no success stories. But, still, it was hard not to feel a little disappointed.
With my mom, I was a little closer to the donation experience. With Matt, the whole thing was done before I even knew it was a possibility. After mom died, my dad made the decision to donate her organs because he knew it was what she wanted. When I went to the funeral home to plan out her funeral, the director told me that I wouldn't be able to see her at that time because they were harvesting her corneas, bones and other tissues.
It was such a hard thing to allow. You can know in your mind and heart that organ donation is a good thing and that it is what someone wants, but when it comes down to actually making that decision...it's hard. Hard to realize that the person you love is no longer residing in their earthly body.
They told us that it would be months before we heard anything about the status of my mom's organs/tissues, if we ever did. To date, I haven't heard whether any of my mother's tissues were able to be transplanted to a recipient. I may never know. But I know that organ donation makes a difference and it's gratifying to be able to read about Tricia's new lungs and see what a difference it makes! And to know that my baby brother and my mom and people like them have, in their own ways, helped to make this wonderful event and millions of other such wonderful events possible.
I read a book once which said, basically, that organ donors are heroes and I'm very proud to be related to two of them. Sign up today!