Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Organ Donation ~ The Ultimate Gift

A friend at work had a brother in law who passed away suddenly as the victim of a car accident. His decision to be an organ donor affected 20 lives. This is the letter his widow received in memorium, and celebration, of his life. If anyone is thinking of becoming a donor, here is the reason you should:

March 4,2005

Dear Mrs. Duggan and Family:

On behalf of the Midwest Transplant Network, I would like to express my most sincere sympathy to you and your family on the very sudden loss of your husband, James. Your compassionate consideration of others at such a difficult time in your lives takes extraordinary strength. I appreciated the opportunity to meet with you and learn about James. I could tell by the time I spent with you that he was special and will be greatly missed by many. I hope you can take some comfort in knowing that the true value of his gift is in your willingness to consider the needs of others. The following organ and tissues were found suitable for transplant and were therefore recovered.

Your husband's liver gave the gift of life to a 54-year old gentleman from the Midwest. He is married with three adult children and two siblings. This gentleman enjoys spending time visiting with friends and attending car races. He required a transplant because he suffered from a disease condition that causes inflammation of the liver. I am told that he is doing very well following his life-saving transplant.

James' heart was recovered for heart valve transplantation. These valves will replace defective or diseased heart valves. Individuals who benefit greatly from this type of transplant are children, and other individuals whose heart valves become infected and no longer function properly.

Vein grafts were recovered. These grafts are transplanted in recipients who, because of poor circulation, may be facing an amputation. These grafts are also transplanted as a vein access for dialysis patients.

Your husband was also able to donate the gift of skin. These grafts are used to aid burn victims in the acute stage of injury and help decrease the complications these patients face during their rehabilitation.

One of your husband's corneas was transplanted providing the gift of sight to a 34-year old gentleman from the East Coast. Transplantion has given this recipient a better quality of life with his improved vision. James' other cornea was used for medical study, which is essential to discover new treatments , better understand disease processes, and the prevention of blindness. Thus, your husband will be helping many others for years to come.

I would again like to express my sympathy and gratitude on behalf of the recipients and their families. I know that words cannot eliminate the pain that you and your family must feel, but I hope that you will gain some comfort in knowing that you have given these precious gifts.

May His Memory Be Eternal


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