My husband Douglass was a generous man. He held dear his family, adoring his children, then grandchildren. He was generous with his time for others, be it family or friends.
When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Doug took it on with his usual energy and enthusiasm, deciding to bring his retirement forward so we could enjoy life as my future was uncertain. He kept me active and is the reason I am as mobile as I am today.
In retirement we did a lot of travel both overseas and across Australia in our caravan. We would come home every three months as he couldn't be away from his family any longer than that. He often used me and my 'granny fix' as an excuse to return.
Doug loved to exercise and one particular passion later in life was bike riding. He passed away after an unimaginable and unexplained pushbike accident. Doug had always wanted to donate his organs and three people benefited - two received a kidney each and one person received his lungs. He would be chuffed to know that his organs were good enough!
Of course our time in hospital following the accident was difficult. The most harrowing of our lives. But after we farewelled Doug from this earth and left the hospital, we shared an uplifting moment as Doug's organs were escorted away under flashing lights and plenty of speed. It was so apt - he loved going fast!
We received a 'thank-you' card from one of the kidney recipients. This was a wonderful thing for them to do. It certainly helps in the grieving process to know that a little bit of Doug lives on.
If we had not known so clearly what Doug's wishes were regarding organ donation it could have been a difficult decision to make under the most stressful of circumstances. But we knew what he wanted, enabling us to provide consent confidently and without doubt.
Doug's niece and her husband put a beautiful plaque up at the site of the accident which says it all!
Douglass - a giver in life and death.