I could post a longer story here but I don't have the strength to live through it all again. Dad had an asthma attack that led to cardiac arrest. He coded 11 times and they brought him back 11 times. I knew, as a nurse, that his brain was already gone but step-mom wanted to keep going. 3 days on life support as they cooled him down to try to save the brain, then heated him back up. Finally officially he was brain-dead. We found out during this process that he had been hiding something from us- -his heart was only functioning at about 50%. He did not even tell his wife. It was three hellish days. We chose to donate his organs and tissues. Once that was put into effect, he was treated with the most dignity ever. We got to meet the surgical team and they all had tears in their eyes. They had a moment of silence before the surgery and they played Dad's favorite music during the surgery.
It's now been a month and we are able to find out if any of the organs were used and how they were received. I opened the letter slowly and relived the whole thing again, but I also felt tears of joy.
Dad's liver when to a man.
Dad's right kidney went to a man.
Dad's left kidney went to a woman.
All are recovering nicely!
Dad's corneas restored sight to two people: a man and a woman. Dad's scleral tissue (connective tissue of the eyes) went to help in the process of securing eye implants in four other people who had glaucoma surgery. We know that two of them were women.
Out of this horror comes joy. I just wanted to share how organ donation really helped us through this process and gave us a source of light and hope in our dark time.