Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What I would like to say to all donor families

Hi, I am Allie, I got a heart transplant on November 19/20, 2009 @ Stanford. I just (last Tuesday) gave my letter to my social worker to give to the OPO. It took me so long because of many reasons. At first I wanted to write away, like 3 days after I got out of surgery, but I felt like I HAD to wait a little while because it would be curel to say how good I am while others are suffering. Then the drugs made me very ill and I couldn't see well for awhile, so I could not write it. Then prednisone makes you very hyper and it made me write it. I am glad I did, I really hope I hear back from them. If I don't, can you be my surrogate donor family? Even if I don't hear back I will send updates, such as when I graduate, when I run a marathon, etc. I figure it is better to send the letter and let them make the decision to read it or not, it is their choice if it is too painful. Anyways, the following is my letter to my donor family, I want to use it to thank you and all donor families who have given myself and my other recipient friends LIFE!

Dear Donor Family,My name is Allie and I am the recipient of your family members heart.  I am 22 years old and I am currently a nursing student in the Bay Area in California.  I had suffered from Restrictive Cardiomyopathy since birth, but it is unknown how I developed the disease.  I was sick for quite some time before I was diagnosed when I was 15 years old and had to have a pacemaker implanted.  After I got the pacemaker I felt a little better, but I never returned to the full activity level that I had before I really got sick.  Over the past six years my health declined and I was able to do less and less physically.  In this past year it had gotten to the point where I had trouble doing normal activities such as hanging out with friends, walking to class and even sleeping.  My last months before my surgery were spent in the hospital an hour away from my friends and family.  I was fully relying on medications and my pacemaker to keep me alive.    
    On the day I got the call from the hospital, I almost wanted to say no, I realized the implications that someone had died and I mourned the loss of someone else’s life, but I knew that I was being given the gift to live again. The hours before the surgery are a blur of shock and disbelief that something so life changing was going to happen.  I woke up the next morning a couple of hours after having my transplant surgery I felt so different and so much better. This new heart was bounding and pulsing and I could feel it; I felt as if I could run a marathon.        
I have put off writing this letter for the past few months because I have been healing, learning to be a healthy person again, and coming to terms with the fact that I was given such an amazing gift from your family member. Everyday I think of how much pain you must be feeling for the loss of your loved one and I am also extremely grateful for the gift of your magnanimity.  I feel so blessed everyday to have such a strong heart beating in me.  I am so grateful for the unselfish gift that you gave me.       
I am home now with my family and slowly returning to a more normal life and continue to feel better everyday.  I have been able to do so many things that I have never had the ability to do. I plan on completing my nursing degree and working with heart transplant patients and their families. 
       Thank you so much for making such a difficult decision, by doing so you have really changed my and my family’s life and I am eternally grateful. Your family will always be in our prayers.With Love,Allie

1 comment:

  1. That was so beautiful! I had chills the whole time and it brought a couple tears. :) Thank you for sharing this! :)