March 10, 1995
I found your "Letter of Thanks from a tissue recipient" on a poster Core displayed at our hospital, promoting their organ donor program. I have had the letter for over a year, and have wanted to answer it.
On July 17, 1990 my son Daniel died in a drowning accident at our local pool. He was 20 years old, and had just moved out on his own. He had had a really difficult time growing up due to a seizure disorder, but he never gave up. He had to work twice as hard as his friends. He also loved to run. I remember him getting off the school bus and running, full tilt, through the yard and leaping over a rather high hedge we had at that time. He was a great kid. At the funeral home, many people I didn't even know came up to me and told me things he had done for them. Everything from helping them rake leaves and shoveling snow to going to the store for them and carrying heavy things in from their car. I guess when you walk or run or ride a bicycle all the time you just get to meet more people.
So as you can imagine it never entered my mind not to donate. My only regret was that they could not use his major organs, heart, lungs, etc. because they were "water-logged". This was because of the CPR done by his friends and the lifeguard. They tried so hard to save him.
We received a letter from CORE telling us how many people benefited from our donation, but there were no specific names. They only told us two differet gentlemen received his corneas and were again able to see. All this meant a great deal to us, but it just wasn't quite enough. Then we attended our first memorial service, that CORE has for donor families each year, and met many recipients. That finally brought me the peace that I now feel when I remember Danny. I know now that there are people out there who can drive a car, go hunting, marry and have families and do all the other things that Danny never had a chance to do.
So you see this is why your letter meant so much to us, even though we'll never know for sure if it was Dan's ligament that you recived.
We wish you a lifetime of happiness in whatever you do.
Helen and brothers and sisters