Nothing could have prepared us for the most shocking, tragic news of our life. Our beautiful, loving, compassionate, priceless Mamma and Nonna Angelina suffered a massive cerebral haemorrhage and there was no hope of survival. Although we were (and are still) in a state of acute grief it wasn't a difficult decision for my brother and I to have Ma's wish of being an organ donor fulfilled.
You see, Angelina (Ma) died as she lived - generously! Her giving, selfless spirit and the fact that she always put others first - never having a bad word to say about anybody - made her love everyone. And everybody loved her. Ma would have given you her last piece of bread even if it meant she'd have to go hungry, so it came as no surprise to her family and friends when they learned of her ultimate gift of life.
The proud adoring Nonna (Italian for grandmother) of five grand-daughters, Ma lived for them. Her love of cooking, gardening and entertaining reflected her love for humanity and nature. The words we heard most from her lips were, 'Love one another!'. Ma was always helping people and asked me to sign her up as an organ donor as soon as I told her of my decision. As this was the ultimate way of helping people, she knew it would bring happiness, hope and a better quality of life to recipients and their families.
So Ma's wish was fulfilled and three people's lives were transformed with her 'pristine' liver and kidneys. The letters we've received from grateful recipients truly honour Angelina's memory. She's not only our hero, but many people's.
Please, please consider organ donation. Discuss it with your family. It won't bring your loved one back but it's a wonderful feeling knowing that her donation gave a new chance at life to others. God knows, we won't need our organs up there!