Amanda passed away on March 7th but we actually found out on this date three years ago that she would never recover from her injury. Amanda had suffered a series of strokes since the aneurysm on February 24th and the damage to her brain was “devastating”. Amanda died on March 7th but we knew on the 6th that she would never return to us. So why the delay?

Amanda was a registered organ donor. Amanda registered when she got her drivers license at sixteen. To be honest, I think most members of our family are organ donors. My mom and dad have it on their licenses so we did too. However, it was more than just “something mama and daddy did” even though they did set a good example in that regard. I remember having discussions with Amanda about this issue and she was very clear that she did not want any organs to go with her that could be used to make someone else’s life better. After all, she didn’t “need them where she was going right?” That’s who she was. If she had it to give and you needed it, it was yours. In a real sense and now looking back, as a family member or potential donor you always think “that’s nice” when someone says they are an organ donor but you never really think about losing your loved one, until you do.

We lost Amanda. However in the midst of that devastating loss four families were able to rejoice. Four families received the call. A call they had been waiting for, longing for. The call that their loved ones would not be lost but saved. Their loved ones would receive new kidneys, new lungs and a new pancreas. They would live. Why? Because my sister chose life over death. Her choice to be an organ donor would make all the difference in their lives.

If you are not an organ donor I urge you to consider it. It may seem strange but it is comforting to me to know that on one of the worst days of my life, four other families had one of the best days of theirs. My son Bryson (pictured here with his Aunt Mom) was also recently the recipient of donor tissue after a serious hand injury. From donor to recipient, my family has come full circle.

Donate life. It makes all the difference.

-Dana

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