The mail comes mid-day and lately we have lots of it. Cards, medical bills and all the usual junk mail. Yesterday we got a letter from the PNTB, Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank. We have been receiving letters from them thanking us for our donation and welcoming us to the “Donation Family,” a family we are very proud to be part of.

A couple of weeks ago we received a little box with a letter inside telling us that both of Abigail’s kidneys, her liver, and one cornea were successfully transplanted. We got a little description of the individuals that received these organs and tissue but nothing specific.

Yesterday we got our first letter from a recipient of one of Abigail’s kidneys. The letter was beautiful and talked about renewed life and how he will never forget what was given to him. He thanked us with all of his heart – he was so grateful! There was also a letter from another family member which described what happened during the week of Oct. 21st. How they received a call from their cousin, the recipient, on their way home from a Bible study. They wrote about how their cousin had to get to Portland by 8 am on the 24th, the morning after Abigail left for surgery.

They talked about how this donation was an answer to prayer and how much they prayed for the donor’s family, they prayed for us!  They said they are living through everyone’s prayers – just like how we are living through everyone’s prayers. Tom and I cried. Abigail saved someone’s life, she gave someone hope for a brighter future.

I remember thinking as I was saying good-bye to her that someone was getting that call they’ve been waiting for. That a family was happy because their family member was getting a new lease on life. I remember those thoughts comforting me while I was kissing her forehead for the last time. She was such a giver and she now has given the ultimate gift. We are so proud of her and we are so looking forward to meeting the individuals that she blessed with her organs.

When we meet, I will tell them about my girl and what her life was like. I will tell them about how she had so many friends and family members that loved and adored her. I will tell them how she was never afraid to try something new, she was so adventurous. I will tell them how creative she was and how our lives are now filled with her beautiful creations. I will tell them everything about her…I will tell them they are so blessed to have a little piece of her because she was truly AMAZING!

As a parent you never think that making a decision to donate your child’s organs is one you will have to make. Making the decision for our daughter was emotional, but not hard because we know that if Abigail was asked, she would have made the same decision. This choice of giving life is Abigail’s ultimate legacy and for those who were gifted, we will forever feel a connection. They are our family now too.

I am so proud to be Abigail’s mom. I look forward to the day when we are together again <3.

Update (10/23/2017)

It has been 4 years since I wrote this post about the day Abigail gave the ultimate gift of life. Since then we have received a letter from her other kidney recipient and have had the opportunity to meet her liver recipient.  We also found out this past year that her pulmonary valve was given to a young girl in California which ultimately saved her life.  Her gift of life continues and we are so proud of her and her little sister!

If you are reading this and are considering being a donor, here are a few links that will give you more information.

Donate Life Northwest:

Donate Life:

Abigail Donation

36 thoughts on “Proud

  1. I have a family friend who turned 5, January 14th. She was born with no kidneys. Her first 2 years were spent confined to a dialysis machine, mostly inpatient at OHSU, then February 2011 she recieved her donor kidney. 2011 was the first year she got to see 4th of July fireworks, first year she got to spend the night with her grandparents, and first year she got to go camping. Her grandpa took her on a week long fishing trip the next summer.

    Thank you! For sharing your posts, for allowing Abby to be a donor, for showing us how to hurt and continue on. You are a strong and loving person, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


  2. Hi Susan! I knew you a long time ago at Maggies Buns, I went by Becky at that time and I always enjoyed seeing you every morning! My little boy was born last year with a hear condition and has recived a donated piece for his heart! Your story made me cry as I have been on the recieveing side of the organ donation process, twice now as my Father recived a heart transplant 3 years ago as well. Thank you for giving such a wonderful gifit and thank you for telling your story!


  3. After reading this beautiful, inspiring post, I immediately signed up to become a donor. Thank you for sharing! I have never met your family but your daughters have made me look at life differently and value the small moments. Your girls’ legacies will live on and continue to change lives. Your faith is truly amazing and you help me to be a better Mom and woman. God bless your sweet angels watching over you!


  4. You are an amazing family. You share your love with all. I’m happy that I’m your alley neighbor. Every morning when Roger walks Shana, Tom says hello to him & they talk about the weather among other short conversations.


  5. Susan and Tom,
    Beautiful hand-painted “bookmarks” twirl in the wind outside our front door on a lilac bush reminding me everyday of Abigail and Anna’s amazing gifts. Here is another page. Another miracle. We love you so much!


  6. Your Family is blessing so many others through your tragedy!! You have taken your lemons and made lemonade!! The girls live on through this story!! I totally agree with Sandy–I hope someday that a book will be writtten to help touch the whole world!! Love and Prayers to You!!


  7. There really are no words for this amazing gift…. Abigail was sent from Heaven. Jesus just loved her too much to let her stay here. Her mission and purpose was complete… I am overwhelmed beyond measure as God continues to use your precious family to show his amazing love and purpose… I hope that someday this will all become a book for the whole world to read~~~~ xxxxxxxoooooo


  8. I have seen first-hand the benefits of organ transplants in both my cousin and friend’s mom. The gift Abby gave will keep on giving in so many ways.


  9. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray that your honest words and strong spirits may help someone in need. You are a beautiful family and I pray that you always feel Gods loving arms surrounding you and know you are loved and prayed for daily!


  10. That is what love and life is about, giving without expecting to receive. Abigail gave the greatest gift to those people, they will be forever grateful and her amazing spirit will live on. Thank you Susan and Tom for a beautiful blog. We are thinking of you everyday. ❤️


  11. That is what love and life is about, giving without expecting to receive. Abigail gave the greatest gift to those people, they will be forever grateful and her amazing spirit will live on. Thank you Susan and Tom for a beautiful blog. We are thinking of you everyday. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️


  12. What an amazing blog today. To have such misery turn into something so great…and to know that you saved someone else the heartache of loosing a loved one too soon. Simply amazing.


  13. What a beautiful gift. The lives of your girls continue to reach out and bless others & will forever, carrying an all important message of faith in Jesus! Thank you for sharing!!


  14. Beautiful and moving! I was already a verbal supporter of the cause; this just makes me wanna support it more because of our angel Abby giving a lucky boy the gift of another chance at life.


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