Yesterday was the anniversary of my deceased husband’s heart transplant. I went through the day very quietly without really wanting to think about his life. It’s still really difficult on special days and I just wanted to get through the day. But I did do one thing; I said a prayer for the family who gave up their son’s heart so that Terry could go on to live an incredible life.
This past year and almost a half since Terry died, I think about his donor family a lot. I think about the fact that someone had to come to them and ask for his organs and how difficult that must have been. To know that there was no chance for their son to live, but they could give up organs and others could live because of their son. I still find this thought overwhelming and humbling.
When Terry died I asked if there were any organs that we could donate and the only thing they could use were his beautiful eyes. I was disappointed because I wanted to be able to give more, but two people somewhere have the ability to see because of Terry Rose.
On the day Terry received his heart I remember thinking that it was like a gift from God because there wasn’t any time left and his life was essentially over. I can’t ever begin to express my gratitude for what the donor family did for us. They gave Terry a second chance at life so that his daughters could grow up with him in their lives.
The donor was 18 when he died and Terry’s transplant had been 18 years when he died. Ironic, maybe but that heart was loved equally from two families that are complete strangers but were brought together by a tragedy. March 11th will always be a day to be celebrated in our lives because we had 18 more years with Terry that we wouldn’t have had without his donor family. My heart goes out to them and I still wish for them the peace they deserve and I hope you will also keep them in your thoughts and say a prayer for their family.