Cheryl's story
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By Angela

Our beautiful Cheryl (Mum) left us— the result of a choking accident (food). It is hard to comprehend and brain death is even harder. On arrival at the hospital we were told to expect the worst and then asked if we had considered organ donation.

We spent the next four days bedside, barely speaking let alone discussing organ donation. We were all hoping that this reality would somehow turn out to be a bad dream.

Over the coming days all the tests were pointing to brain death. We would have to turn off the machine.

The dreaded day arrived and family and friends said their goodbyes. We were given some time in between brain tests. Two are performed, the second one would be the official time of death.

Among the four of us, two of us were in favour and two still unsure. We didn't know mums wishes. Finally we made the decision, we would donate. Even if you're in favour of organ donation it is still scary—all of the what ifs etc. Knowing she was a kind and giving person helped us to make the decision. I must say, in that

moment of great sadness and loss you cant help but feel somewhat happy for someone else. Someone else wont have to experience what you are now. The whole grieving process is strange, nothing seems normal.

A few weeks had passed and we were anxious to know the outcome, hoping something good had come from all we had, and still were going through. My brother had been staying with me and I was taking him home the day I collected the mail. Hesitantly I opened the envelope and read the results out loud. You can imagine the happiness and relief we felt when it read three people had benefited and all were doing well. There were a lot of tears that day.

Mum we are so proud of you. You are our hero, our angel and we love and miss you every day. We hope all the recipients lead long and happy lives.

To DonateLife, all the medical staff, donors and their families you are truly amazing people. This experience has changed our lives forever and we will continue to support organ donation and DonateLife in their endeavour to save lives.