Holding the Whole Spectrum of Experience

In this vein of holding a breadth of life experiences, I have one more story to add to the list.

Last week a couple in our community lost their son’s fiancé. Their son is devastated. They are heart-broken for him and all that it means for his world. We simply do not expect death to come to healthy young people in their twenties, but it did. As they were carrying the initial weight of this loss, some interesting things happened.

It turns out that, at 13 years of age, this young woman had signed an organ donor card. She also had a very rare blood type. Now there are six families who have loved ones who have regained their health. The transplant team has reported that one person with heart failure received a heart transplant, one person with lung failure has received a double lung transplant, one person with liver failure received a liver transplant and two people with kidney failure received kidney transplants. In addition, one person with diabetes will receive a pancreas islet cell transplant.

This young woman’s foresight and courage allowed her to live on in these other human beings. She is an inspiration to all of us.  I would hope her actions as a donor might cause each of us to consider the invaluable gift that is only ours to give at a time when loved ones, wracked with such a deep sense of loss, have yet one more reason to be proud and thankful that another family can be lifted up with renewed hope, life and love.

So if you are inspired by her story, check how you can do this in your state. Often it is done when you update or get your first drivers license. Here is the link to the official website for organ donation from the federal government. The family gave me permission to write this blog post in hopes that you will be inspired by her courage and foresight. It has helped them in immeasurable ways to mediate some of this huge loss. So please, be inspired.


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