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What I Would Say to My Organ Donor’s Family

What I Would Say to My Organ Donor’s Family

Last year, we shared a story from patient Marie DeLarge who had received a bilateral lung transplant back in 2012. Today, Marie reflects back on all the things she can now do and shares what she would say to her donor's family if she could.

My husband says I’m his hero. I think otherwise. I think that title belongs to organ donors and their families.  I think that title should also go to the healthcare professionals and support staff who treated me at Ochsner Medical Center. Without these people, I wouldn’t be here and neither would many other organ recipients.

The life and death of every person matters, especially to the ones who know and love them. The act of being an organ donor is saying that even to a stranger, someone else’s life matters and that the donor’s life can continue to matter to those who know and love them.

I often think if I ever met my donor family, I wouldn’t know what to say. Would I tell them how the quality of my life is the best it has ever been in decades? Would they want to know that I literally dance circles around my husband, or that oftentimes my children can’t even keep up with me?  Or would they appreciate knowing how my grandchildren love to come to grandmother’s house because we play, swim, garden, decorate and bake together?

And what about the simple things in life that I can do now that I couldn’t do before? Is it meaningful to my donor family that I can now wash my own hair, walk to the bathroom on my own or wash my whole body at once instead of one limb at a time? Could they understand the joy I now have over being able to do the simplest of things? I can cook, go to church, attend my grandchildren’s school performances, ride a bike and shop while I walk in a mall. Or would I just cry silently in the presence of  my donor’s family?

It has been the mission of my healthcare team to keep me healthy. But it has been my personal responsibility and duty to make someone’s sacrifice to never be forgotten or taken in vain.

Did you know that an organ donor can save the lives of up to nine people? You can be an organ donor!

Becoming an organ donor is easy!