A Mouths of Mums reader story…..
Please be warned that I have been honest and not tried to filter my thoughts too much. This story might be distressing or offensive to some people so I do warn you that it is not a pleasant read!
I wanted to share my story – not to discourage anybody but to try to make people realise the truth about the gift that they have been given.
A few years ago, my family was really shaken up by the sudden loss of a loved one. Brain death would be listed as the official cause of death. It was so hard to see this person laying there looking absolutely perfect and pink and alive but to know that inside, they were gone. Their brain was done, finished, ended, erased. Everything that gave them their personality, made them smile, made them hope, made them human, was gone.
In the blink of an eye, it was all over. Braindead. We had pamphlets thrown at us explaining in harsh, clinical terms what had happened. It was a flurry of doctors and nurses. Nurses were only there for you to cry on. All these medical people but not one of them could change the fact that our loved one was gone. And straight away it seems, we were bombarded by questions. Our loved one had given permission for organ donation.
We Were Just Pawns
We were onboard with the donation and respecting wishes but literally felt that the co-ordinators and the doctor, to an extent, had done this all and seen this all before and we just became pawns.
We went to the hospital and the doctor continued to use the ultrasound machine in front of us and comment on how the organs were really healthy and looked like they came from a 30 year. They had NO regard for the fact that the family was standing there while they were checking “the quality” of the “meat”.
As soon as the doctors had what they wanted, that was it. A letter from the organ donors co-ordinator saying that the organs had been dispersed and that was it.
No Thank-You’s For The Most Precious Gift
Out of four people that my loved one’s organs had saved (heart, lungs etc) only one person bothered to write a letter, one year on. We didn’t want the world, we weren’t seeking any kind of compensation BUT to get a letter and hear how your loved one has saved someone else’s life and made miracles for them…well that was the whole point!
Everyone goes on about donations but I don’t know how to feel. I know that we were treated like it was all just routine business but we were going through an unexpected loss and trying to understand what had happened. Instead of processing and dealing, we were BUGGED REPEATEDLY to give our consent for the donations and even had it mentioned how we would be disrespectful if we didn’t honour our passed one’s wishes. I wish that I had been able to say, hang on, give us a minute!
I just wanted to share this. I don’t regret doing what we did, I do regret the way we were treated for helping to give” life”.
Please!!!! if you are ever touched by this circumstance, please!!!! The least that you can do is to say THANK YOU! even if you don’t say another word!
What If We Had Said NO!
My loved one died and now you have a chance at life. The least you can do is be grateful! Things could have been different if we had said no……
Don’t forget that you are literally accepting the gift of life! Unless you have been in this situation, you will never know what it feels like. Not the easiest situation to navigate but a simple thank you is all it takes. I know a lot of people who have heard our tale immediately say “oh I am not donating then” but that is not my goal! I want you to donate, I want you to live, I want you to be at peace with the decision. I want you to appreciate how lucky you are but let others know this!
While I am grieving still for my loved one, you could say thank you for the gift. That is all. I will be happy that you got another chance at life! A piece of my loved one is out there in the world.
Not everyone will have the chance to give or get a gift like this and that makes it a truly precious thing!
My loved one loved humanity enough to donate a piece of themselves to give life.