Jun 3, 2016
When you talk to Donna about her son, Clint, she is quick to tell you about his kind, giving nature. “As a child he would give away his toys and clothes to friends. We would ask him why and he would just say, ‘because I knew it would make them happy.’ He was a caregiver to his friends throughout his life and they knew they could turn to him for help and comfort.”
Clint was only 25 years old when he passed away from injuries sustained in an accident. Though he had never discussed organ donation with his family, when the subject was brought up to them, they were leaning toward saying yes. They soon learned that Clint had indeed said yes on his driver license.
As Mother’s Day and Father’s Day approached, Donna and her husband Roger found themselves missing Clint more than ever. They had learned that Clint’s organs had saved the lives of a mother and two fathers, so they decided to focus on the positive and felt their heartache soften a little as they thought of his recipients who are now able to celebrate with their families. They also wanted to reach out to those people and let them know a little about the young man who gave the gift of life.
After writing letters to the recipients, they were excited to received letters back from a couple of them. They learned that the woman who received Clint’s kidney had sent a letter shortly before receiving theirs. She stated that she rewrote the letter several times before finally mailing it. She felt her letter didn’t adequately express her gratitude, but she finally decided what really mattered was that it came from the heart. She was thrilled to hear from Donna and after a few more email exchanges, they decided to meet in person. Donna was especially touched when she met this woman’s son and saw how grateful he was to have his mom back in better health and off dialysis.
Though they will always miss their son, Donna and Roger are grateful he made the decision to be an organ donor. They have registered as donors and several of their family and friends have registered as well. Donna has also volunteered her time sharing her story to encourage others to consider donation.