Josh always had headaches, but the doctors never thought it was anything. He went to the doctor with a headache in Feb. 2009, and again, they did not diagnose him. Two days later, on Feb. 25, 2009, Josh had a brain aneurism. It was 10 days after his birthday, he was just 26 years old.
After we were told that Josh had died and there was nothing anyone could do, they asked us if he would be willing to be an organ donor. We talked about it with his wife, Brittany. She said they had recently talked about organ donation because they saw the movie “Seven Pounds” with Will Smith. Josh had told his wife that he would not mind becoming an organ donor. We knew he was that type of person. He cared about others and this was the sort of thing he would want to do to help someone else.
My first cousin’s husband, Steve, had been on the waiting list for kidney and pancreas transplant for several years. We told KODA that, if possible, we would like for Steve to have Josh’s kidney and pancreas. It must have been meant to be, because they were a perfect match. Steve was healed and sent home in no time. The doctors were amazed with how well it went. Steve had been on insulin since he was 5 years old, and now, he has not had to take any insulin since his transplant. He had not been able to work, and he was able to go back to work within months of his transplant. Steve has three children, and since his transplant, Steve has been able to see his two grandbabies born.
Every time I see Steve, I tell him he needs to give me a hug. He does it automatically now. I feel like a part of my baby is inside him, and any time I need a hug, he never hesitates.
Brittany told Steve before the transplant that Josh pees a lot. Steve now understands! He told Brittany “You’re right – Josh sure did pee a lot! Sometimes in the middle of the night, I ask Josh if he could wait a little longer.”
It has helped our family, knowing that a part of Josh lives on. We received a letter from a young lady that received his other kidney and a letter from the recipient who received his liver. His corneas were also donated to help someone see.
Organ donation gave us peace – knowing that through our tragedy, we were able to give someone else a second chance.
I’d like others to know that organ donation can give you peace of mind – even though your loved one is gone – part of him lives on.
(Story shared by Cheryl Deskins – Josh’s Mom.)
Cheryl Deskins is a Deputy Clerk in Menifee County’s Drivers’ License Office.