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Oscar's choice

By Catia

When my 71 year old dad, Oscar, died suddenly in 2006 and the family was approached about donation it was an easy decision.

Dad died so suddenly, so quickly. No one was expecting it. Dad was a professional parachutist in the Italian army. He had cheated death a hundred million times.

It was 3.30 in the morning. We knew he was dead. We weren't thinking of organ donation, but when the decision had to be made, we didn't need to individually go around and ask each family member. We always knew dad's wishes and what he wanted with no reservations.

I remember dad as the first person to give a hand and someone who lived life to the fullest.

He never went backwards, always two steps forward. He was strong, extroverted and confident. If I needed anything I only had to ask.

Dad's presence is extremely missed. A game of poker isn't the same, he was the king of poker.

I still find it so surreal. We still think he is going to cheat death again. But I'm very proud of my dad's gift to another human being.

Our family know each other's wishes. Some members want to donate, others don't. It is not us who donated, it was my dad who gave the gifts freely and willingly, we only conveyed his wishes.

It's a decision each one of us makes individually, the next of kin have the responsibility to carry it through, untainted by their own wishes.

Dad's choice saved the lives of two people and gave sight to two others.