The Gift That Keeps on Giving

It’s hard to get out of bed these days. Today I was forced out of bed by the postman, delivering a letter that had to be signed for. It was from the Organ Transplant Team at the John Radcliffe Hospital, where Terry died. It reads:

Dear Amanda,

We are writing to thank you for your kindness and compassion in making the decision to allow Terrence to be an organ donor. We would like to take the opportunity to offer you our condolences for your sudden and tragic loss and thank you for taking the time to speak with us about organ donation. With this letter we are now able to give you some information about the recipients who have been helped as a direct result of Terrence’s gift of life to others.

One kidney was transplanted into a teenage girl, she is making slow progress. It is hoped that this progress will continue. She is not requiring any dialysis and will hopefully not require dialysis in the future. She had been on the transplant waiting list for nearly a month.

The other kidney was transplanted into a gentleman in his 60s. He is making excellent progress and is about to go home from hospital. He had been on the transplant waiting list for over 4 years. He is single and is a very keen walker. 

A section of the liver was transplanted into a gentleman in his 50s. He is making good progress. he had been on the transplant waiting list for 3 months and is married with 2 grown up children. He is about to be a granddad or the first time.

The other section of the liver was transplanted into a toddler who is making good progress. It is expected that she will be in hospital for 3 weeks before going home. 

The pancreas was retrieved for the purpose of transplantation however was not able to be used at the transplanting centre so has been used for valuable research.

The heart was transplanted into a lady in her 30s. She is making excellent progress on the ward. 

The corneas were successfully retrieved and will undergo a screening process then stored until requested. Once matched the survival of the graft is almost 99%, with the potential to restore the sight of two individuals literally overnight. We will write to you when we have received the outcome. 

We hope the information in this letter reinforces the impact of Terrence’s generosity on the lives of those people fortunate enough to receive such a special gift. We hope that you find this information useful. 

I have read this letter a hundred times today, devouring the details. I have wept tears of sadness mixed with tears of joy for those whose lives will improve as a result of my loss and tears of pride for the generosity of my husband which continues on even in the face of his untimely death.

To those of you who have not yet done so, I ask that you register as an organ donor sooner rather than later. If Terry’s death proves nothing else, it proves that life is short and unpredictable and that death does not discriminate between the old and the young. The thought that Terry’s heart is still beating and that his beautiful blue eyes might yet see brings me more hope and comfort than I can describe. When I die, I hope to bestow the same gift upon others.

I hope that you will consider making the same gift so that your death can provide a gift to others, just like Terry’s has.


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