My eldest son Barney was a typical boy, cheeky and headstrong, long and lean like his dad. He played soccer. He was into collecting Pokémon cards and playing Star Wars computer games. He was learning to surf and loved being in the water.
Barney was nine years and 22 days old when he died. He fell ill with Influenza A and suffered a febrile seizure whilst in the bath.
Barney was kept on life support for two days, before his organs began shutting down, and he was declared brain dead. Rob and I are registered organ donors. When we were asked if we would consider donating Barney's organs, Rob and I just looked at each other and said yes. That's exactly what Barney would want.
Barney's lungs, kidneys and liver saved the lives of four very ill people. Unfortunately there was no compatible recipient for his big strong beautiful heart, but it was donated to research, along with his corneas. All research conducted adding to the body knowledge, to help save lives in the future.
I don't think you ever get over the death of a child. The pain becomes an ache that never leaves and it doesn't get any easier. You just somehow learn to live with it. We still have Sam, Barney's younger brother, to live for, and we now have a new baby girl Lucy, to tell all our Barney stories to.
We pray for Barney's recipients every day and hope they might find the strength to contact us. In the mean time we thank God for the Gift of Barney and for Barney's Gift.