Monday, 7 November 2011

My Donor

When I thought about my donor, the questions that came to my mind were, did they know what the were doing? Did they really want me to have this gift? Would they have chosen me?

This is a very hard subject for me, it is personal to me obviously but something that is far more personal to the donors family, therefore I feel I have to be careful as to what I say, there is a grieving family out there, an amazing family who went through with my donors wishes but never the less grieving all the same.

When I recognised that I had had a transplant, my first and foremost through was my donor, I grieved for them, something that added to my depression at the time of transplant, like I have said in my transplant blog, logic evaded me and all I could think was someone had died to save me, Of course that's not the case, my donor had already been pronounced brain stem dead, but still the pain of there death is with me always. The fact that there death saved my life simply means that only one person died that day, wheres it was going to be two. They had made the selfless act to donate the organs.

Organ donation is suppose to be anonymous, something I believe to be very hard these days, with various facts my family happened to know about my donor, It was made very apparent with the help of media who my donor was.

I know there name, I know the full circumstances surrounding there death, there age, there are things you get to know anyway, but I know some of there hobbies, belief es, some of the things they did and the ideals that we share, I know they were intelligent and caring, I know that they were simply amazing, I know any donor Is amazing, but they were amazing in life and in death. They truly seemed to understand what organ donation means and to me that means the world, It means that they wanted me to have this gift, something i would find hard to accept otherwise.

How do I feel about knowing? The first thing I knew was there sex, this wasn't a particular emotional finding, then came there age, to me this hurt the most, i was only 3weeks post transplant when I found out, what it did to me, I can't begin to even explain, but my mum said she could see the pain rip right through my heart and shes right it really did. After that I took time before I found out anymore, knowing that I couldn't take that pain again and I needed time to heal my wounds. There were things I suspected and when the pieces were put together it was simple to find out who it was and for me I'm simply to curious to let things be, what would you have done in my position? your life had been saved by some amazing person? some one you'll never get to know, would you take that little step more to find out as much about them as you could? Well Id did, i knew my family knew from media at the time so all I had to do was simply google the facts I knew, a there they were, there eyes beaming off the screen. My donor.

I have written a letter to the family, I wrote it 2 and half months post transplant, but I am not ready to pass it on yet, why? I still feel very sad thinking about there death and I didn't even know them, I can't begin to think what there family must be going through. But then I can't begin to imagine when there pain will be any less, Christmas is approaching fast, for me my first Christmas being well, Christmas last year for me was when I decided I had had enough of life as it was and that I wanted to be assessed for transplant, if this decision had been made any later, i most certainly wouldn't have made it. So for me I will be celebrating care free, with my family, friends, making sure they all know how much I love them. For my donors family, It is there first Christmas with out my donor, a painful reminder of what they've lost. So when is the right time? I don't want to leave it so long they think I simply forgot, its something I think about every day.

The one other thing I wonder is, I found them through media,with all the media work I do, does their family know who I am?


  1. Amazing, thought-provoking post x

  2. When you're ready to send that letter I imagine it would bring the donor's family enormous peace and pride to know just how much you have been helped and how your life has turned around. I am sure it would also bring lots of mixed emotions. But overwhelmingly, it would be positive. You will be giving them something to truly smile about after months of pain.

    I'm so glad you are doing so well.

  3. Very thought provoking post, but as always handled very well. I'm sure the donor's family will take enormous pride in knowing just how much they have changed many peoples lives with the decision to carry out their loved ones wishes. they in turn will recieve a letter telling them how many succesful donations were made as a result of this amazing act and in time it will hopefully give them comfort as they grieve. xxxxxxx

  4. I lost my Mum only a few days before Christmas, nearly 11 years ago. Christmas is supposed to be a happy time. When you decide to send the letter, I would say after Xmas. The New Year and new hope etc, a letter to them then would be a boost to the New Year feelings of positive etc :-) Only my 2p's worth of course.
    Best wishes :-)

  5. Hi Kirstie, I've been following your blog and I think everything you've come through is just amazing. I just wanted to say, I know how it feels when it comes to thinking about your donor. I had a liver transplant nearly 3 years ago and struggled thinking about the family. I wrote to them, and got a reply. Since then I've had the honour of meeting my donor's mother. If it helps she always says how much it has helped her with the grieving process knowing that they've helped me and 4 other people.
    And as for your letter, take as long as you want. I waited months before sending mine, you'll know when it's the right time :). Hope you're keeping well and keep your chin up x

  6. Dear Kristie,

    I am happy to see you are doing well. Having been on the end where my brother was a donor I do have to say knowing that that his recipents were living a life again made all the difference. One of his kidney recipents was able to have a life again, no more 6 hour a day dialysis and she was enjoying her children again. Seeing your latest post (2-24-2012) about starting a hoop...well that is the best way to say thank you, to live your life. Enjoy.
    Peace, Jean

    1. Sorry about your brother, but thank you for your reasurrance, It eans a great deal. Iv sent my letter off now. xx

  7. Hello Kirstie,

    I saw the documentary about you last year and then caught it by chance again last night. I found it equally moving and inspiring on a second viewing (because of the courage and life-embracing spirit of you and those around you).

    I'm writing this to let you know that immediately after watching the doc for the first time I signed up as an organ donor, something I'd always thought was a good idea but had also always kept putting off.

    Your thoughts in this blog about your donor seem very sensitive and make me imagine your donor would have been proud to have contributed to your life.

    I hope you and your family are doing well,