I’m sure Miss Anna was a little impatient with her sister as she waited for her to get done in the hospital.
I like to think that as the doctors, nurses and the transplant team found matches and prepared Abigail for her surgery, Anna waited for her sister patiently, or not so patiently, so they could go to Heaven together.
This thought of them hand in hand brings me comfort.
A year ago yesterday calls were being made to say they had a perfect match.
My daughter was a perfect match.
I remember the team from Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank (PNTB), along with the staff from Randall Children’s Hospital, giving us updates on the status of her recipients.
They included us in the process of her care and made us part of their team. They asked about Anna and Abigail and listened as we shared stories. They created a caring and loving environment for us to grieve. They connected, loved and took such good care of Abigail.
They took such great care of us and still do.
Abigail was able to give the gift of life and sight through her organ donation. We feel that both girls were on their way to Heaven, hand in hand, on October 20th, but by the Grace of God, Abigail had to make one stop before she went.
On this day last year, total strangers were being wheeled into the operating room to be given a miracle from my daughter. I know that this gift is not taken lightly and is an answer to their prayers. I have met many recipients of similar gifts and I know that the joy in the miracle is felt concurrently with compassion and sorrow for the donor family.
Abigail’s right kidney was transplanted successfully to a man in his 50’s who had been on dialysis for 2 yrs. He is doing well. We received a letter from him and his family last December.
Her left kidney recipient was a U.S. military veteran who was also on dialysis for the past two years. We recently got a letter from him telling us that his health is good and that he cherishes the gift Abigail gave him. We hope to meet him soon.
Abigail’s liver was transplanted into an 8-year-old boy. It has been told to us that he was able to return back to school after his transplant and is having a good time being a lively kid again.
Abigail was able to donate one cornea which gave sight to a 9 yr old in the Pacific Northwest. That child is able to see because of her gift.
Her pulmonary valve and conduit were distributed to a pediatric hospital in California and her aorta has produced 13 million vascular cells which have the potential to generate over 50 vascular grafts. These grafts will assist recipients with limb salvage and circulation issues.
We will pray to the end of our days for each of Abigail’s recipients.
“I’m ready to go Anna.”
“Finally, what took so long.”
“I just needed to answer some prayers before we left.”
There is a lot of guilt that is felt by those who receive organs and tissue, especially when it’s given by a child. Abigail was on her way to Heaven, her donation was a choice we made for her knowing full well she would have made the same choice.
We have met so many amazing people who have been touched by organ and tissue donation. We feel very blessed that Abigail was able to leave this legacy.
If you are not already an organ donor or have any questions about organ donation please contact Donate Life America.
UPDATE (OCT 2018) ~ Abigail’s pulmonary valve has been placed into a young girl in California and we have been blessed to meet her liver recipient. He is a teenager now and comes every year to the Love Rocks Run with his family.