Giving the gift of life
TURNING AN END INTO A BEGINNING - SHARON'S STORY
Giving the gift of life
Sadly on the 28th September 2013, just 22 days after celebrating her 21st birthday, our daughter, Beth, suffered a massive brain haemorrhage and passed away on 30th September at 10.39am.
Beth wanted to donate her organs. If we can be called lucky, we were lucky because we knew the wishes of one so young…..and the only way we knew about her wishes …..was because…..we spoke about it.
Like most families, organ donation is not at the top of your conversation list when you are sitting around, playing, holidaying or having Sunday dinner or barbecues. Why should it be?
The actual conversation we had began because Beth’s older sister Lydia works as a nurse at the Birmingham children’s hospital on the children’s oncology ward and she had, as part of her training, attended an operation where a man’s liver was prepared to be transplanted into a young child. From that days conversation we as a family had all agreed that organ donation was something that we needed to support…..At the time I am sure Mandy & I felt we were telling the kids our wishes that they would carry out. We never dreamt it would be a decision we would have to make - AND I can honestly say that the decision to agree to have Beth’s organs donated would have been near impossible at such a totally devastating time without the prior family discussions and a clear understanding of what our family members wanted.
We decided as a family that we wanted Beth’s selfless act of giving life to continue to promote the idea of organ donation.. So we planned a web site for Beth. Part of it was to help with our own grief, part to help Beth’s young friends with theirs. We went live with Beth’s site in January 2014 www.rememberbeth.co.uk and have had over 9,500 hits so far.
We hoped the site would encourage people who visited it to discuss and support organ donation.
Organ donation does not just save ONE LIFE…it impacts on many more.
The fact that one donor can help 8/9 people alone is fantastic but never forget…the prayers of their spouse, their children, their brothers and sisters, uncles, aunts and all their family and their friends. One gift of life actually ENHANCES MANY.
We understood over that weekend that although our prayers for a miracle were not being answered……….potentially 8 or 9 others were and that hopefully hundreds more were rejoicing in the news of an organ match.
All we want to do now on behalf of Beth is to encourage people / families / friends to discuss organ donation.
That has to be the first important step of 3 stages:
Without that discussion, if something unexpected happens, you will be lost and opportunities will be missed.
Act upon it
During discussions hopefully people will realise the impact “the gift of life” will have on many people and not just the recipient.