Sometimes I catch myself wondering who my son was able to save.

On that 11th day of June, not only were J. and I wholly unprepared for having to say hello and goodbye to our son, but we had not entertained the possibility of donating his organs. Who does? What expectant couple sits down and considers that outcome? None of us. It was a big shock, finding ourselves on the phone with a tissue donation service. I know I, for one, didn’t think a child was capable of donating until they were much, much older. But when the donation center representative confirmed my questions that yes, our son, tiny as he was, could help others, I turned to J. and asked him what he thought.

580175_543792902352732_2015848107_nThere was barely any hesitation and we both said “why not?”

What followed was a series of phone call interviews and paperwork determining Michael’s eligibility. And when it was all said and done, we were told that his heart valves could save up to two other babies, and that his eyes would go to a research study aimed at finding a cure for infant and child blindness.

My son. My little boy doing such big things before he was ever an hour old. (Possibly) giving two children healthy heart valves and saving two sets of parents the heartache J. and I felt. (Possibly) letting some infant see their mom and dad for the first time.

I will probably never get to know these children, or their families. That entire week was such a blur I can’t remember now if I told the donation representative that it was okay to be contacted or not. I’m not even sure I knew the answer to that at the time.

But I smile and my heart swells and my throat chokes up with a tearful sort of pride thinking that my beautiful, perfect, little boy has left a legacy that has touched at least six lives (two children and two sets of parents) besides those of his daddy and I.

Maybe more. ❤

fiftylives_social_pic_2April is National Donate Life Month, also known as National Organ Donor Awareness Month. If you’d like to know more, please visit:


5 thoughts on “April is National Organ Donor Awareness Month

  1. Gosh, I never thought of that, but for those who are seeking out organs and parts to donate, I guess they would have to act quickly and at a time that is most difficult for all. It would be somewhat comforting to know other lives benefitted, tho obviously not your first choice. Thanks for sharing yet another aspect in Michael’s life

    1. I am pleased to say that the representative I talked to was extremely polite and caring and went out of their way to make an awkward moment less awkward. Because you’re right — they DO have to act quickly, before any of the tissues start to decay. I know that they had Michael flown to their facility in Portland in a *very* short amount of time after we agreed and his eligibility determined. I would hazard a guess and say that his heart valves found themselves inside another child before another night passed.

      I always kind of felt that it was an honor to his memory. That our little boy got to be a hero to someone. 🙂

      1. I know you have talked about this and we never will know the whys of all, but perhaps the meaning and the bigger picture was indeed meant for someone else. I hope in some way that gives you some comfort. I’m glad your experience with the representative of the organ donor place was a good one. and who knows how many lives your blog has touched and helped. It is a good thing, for sure.

      2. The thought *has* occurred to me on occasion. All I know is that there was definitely a higher power involved. And I’m okay with that.

        Yes, overall, it was a good experience, working with Tissue Services. After talking with them, and getting a look into what the criteria actually are for donation, next time I get the opportunity, I’m going to register as a donor (I never thought I was eligible before). It’s a good thing to do.

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