As a parent, there are always milestones in the lives of our children marking important life events. The many firsts: learning to crawl, and then walk, starting kindergarten, losing the first tooth, and then entering middle school, high school, college and beyond. These milestones are significant markers in the lives of our families.
My husband and I look at the milestones of our three boys with a joyful reminiscence for those we have experienced and joyful anticipation for those yet to come.
On February 15, 2018, our family began the journey of one of our greatest milestones. This milestone is not a single event but a journey that will follow us throughout our lives. On this day, our son received the gift of life through a heart transplant. This single event has changed our lives forever.
Organ donation for our family is a journey through the diagnosis of congenital heart defect, navigating procedures throughout our son’s life and finally receiving the gift of a life-changing heart transplant at the age of 13. The journey continues with joy and hope as we watch our son enjoy the renewed life-giving energy provided by his new heart.
Every time I watch my son accomplish something new like walking around his school, playing outside with friends and family, participating in activities where he once experienced limitations; I am in awe of the gift from our donor family. In the midst of their sorrow, they gave us life. In the midst of their tragedy and grief, they gave us hope and life.