Re “Spreading awareness of the greatest gift” (Dec. 4): Three years ago, 12 days after his 78th birthday, my father received a liver transplant. Only days from death, he was literally given a second life. He and my mother are enjoying things that were out of the question in the years prior to the transplant. Honestly, I did not think it was going to happen and I thank God for every kiss, every strong-voiced “hi, bubbe” I get on the phone.
Last week, my parents attended a yearly holiday party run by the Transplant Foundation in Florida. There, transplant recipients hung ornaments on a tree in memory of their donors or in honor of their live donors (kidneys). Each recipient was given an electric candle. The room was lit up with the light of life.
My friend, Alan, is waiting for a kidney. I was tested to be a donor, but was not a match. A match is out there. I encourage all readers, as a Chanukah Gift of Life, to get tested and to sign your organ donor card. Make sure your family knows your wishes, and know what your family members want.
My father’s donor hadn’t signed his card, but in her grief, his brave daughter made the decision to allow his organs to be donated. Because of that, his untimely death saved seven people.
The concept may sound scary and most of us don’t want to think about it – until it impacts one of our loved ones. I am a daughter and a friend, and this has impacted me. For my father, the outcome was a miracle. For Alan, I can only hope and pray.