My wonderful husband who appeared to be the picture of health suffered a massive stroke. Having completed 10 ultra-marathons, playing touch rugby, coaching my son's rugby team and having a recent check-up with the doctor, we were in disbelief when the doctor in ICU told us that John had suffered brain death.
The next words from this doctor were ‘have you thought about organ donation?' I knew my husband's wishes and in keeping with his generous nature, my children and I agreed to donate his heart, lungs, kidneys and corneas. The trauma of watching him being wheeled to the operating theatre-knowing that any hope of recovery was about to end, haunts me still.
Many people thought we should find comfort in this generous donation. I'm afraid I couldn't at the time. A few months later, we received two thank-you letters/cards from the families of recipients. These were much appreciated. My husband donated seven organs and we received two thank you notes! I send ‘thank you' cards for flowers and food, but many recipients haven't said thank you for a gift that potentially gave them life. It makes me wonder.
My advice to recipients who wonder about saying thanks is-DO IT! It can't possibly make the family feel worse knowing that someone values the gift and the chance they have been given.