My Sally
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My Sally

By Tom

There is something that all donor families have in common – a loved one who showed kindness from the heart and thoughtfulness for others by signing up for organ donation.

Sally and I first met as teenagers living in the same neighbourhood. We married in 1963. We found out that our grandfathers were the best of mates in Perth before they and their families moved back to Adelaide around 1910 where their friendship continued.

Sally was full of life, a sports woman and held strong Christian principles, but it was her spirit for life that captivated me.

She was full of good ideas, for our wedding saying, "we must learn our wedding vows and say them out loud so people in the church can hear them, then the vows will come from our hearts.” It was interesting how many wedding guests commented on it. After a couple of years of marriage she gave birth to the first of three beautiful little boys then 10 years later, to complete our family, a beautiful little daughter.

Sally was a gorgeous, fun-loving wife and mother. She was very artistic with a good eye for design and colour which helped me with property developments. She loved watercolour painting – mainly of flowers and sailing boats, photography of beach scenes and birds and woodcarving. She was very versatile and I considered myself a very lucky man.

Sally exercised twice a day, ate the right foods and looked after herself well, At age 70, out of the blue, Sally lost consciousness due to an aneurism. They immediately put her on life support and kept her on it until the following night, when she became an organ and tissue donor. Five organs and tissues in all were donated

After 52 years with ‘the girl of my dreams’ her sudden loss was very hard to take but reading the letters from the recipients of her organs, was enough to warm my heart and bring tears of joy in a time of grief.

When we signed on to be organ donors, neither of us knew the strict criteria that donors have to meet before their organs can be used. This means only a small percent of donors qualify and more people are needed to sign up! I’d like to thank the DonateLife representatives who’ve cared for us and treated us with care and compassion.