A Family’s Open Letter to their Daughter/Sister’s Organ Recipient

Dear Trish,

We were still grieving when we received your letter.

You were recovering from your liver transplant, and you told us you were indebted to Laura and our family.

Two months earlier at Children’s Hospital, we were devastated when we were asked a question no parent or sister ever wants to hear. Laura’s 14-year old brain no longer worked, we were told, but her heart still did. Would we consider donating her organs?

We had always believed in the concept of organ donation, but that was a decision we thought other people needed to make. Not us.

We considered what Laura would have wanted. Our decision on that horrible Saturday in February of 2009 would create a miracle. Your recovery.

Trish, your inspirational story has given us another way to talk about Laura’s death, to keep her legacy alive, and to give meaning to our otherwise meaningless loss. A silver lining in our darkest cloud.

We wanted to get to know you better, and you wanted the same. We talked to each other on the phone, and then we met in person. Now you are no longer the recipient to us, but a caring and energetic special education teacher and gym owner with an incredibly positive attitude. Laura would have liked you.

You send us your condolences on the anniversary of Laura’s death, and we send you our best wishes on the following day – the anniversary of your second chance at life. We are not related, but our family’s stories connect us forever.

Trish, you say you are indebted to us. We also are indebted to you.

Lots of Love,

Susan, Ron, Rachel and Sara

Pictured: Ron, Susan, Sara, Rachel, Trish, Gary