In the early morning hours on June 19, 2019, what we thought was going to be one of the best days of our lives quickly turned into a nightmare. At 39 weeks pregnant with our second child, unexpected complications occurred during attempted delivery and after an emergency cesarean delivery; our son did not survive. In roughly 6 minutes from the decision to perform surgery, David Wayne was born, but there was no heartbeat.
One of the first questions I asked our doctor after receiving the news, was if we could donate his organs. I have often thought many times since that day – God was speaking for me in that moment because He knew what was in my heart.
Later, our nurse came to us stating that someone from KODA would like to speak to us about possibly donating David Wayne’s heart valves. To my knowledge, she had no idea that I had inquired about this already. My husband and I talked it over. We felt that something good had to come from this tragedy. If there was the slightest chance that we could save a child’s life and prevent another family from feeling this same pain of losing a child, we knew what we had to do.
Our family has been on the receiving end of organ donation and we were blessed with 10+ more years of life with my husband’s grandmother after she receiving a liver transplant. In those 10+ years, she was able to see her grandchildren get married and start families of their own; watched her children become grandparents. To imagine what organ donation could do for a child – to give a child the chance to make memories for an entire lifetime – it was the easiest decision we have ever made.
Our oldest child, Ella, was only 2 years old when we lost David Wayne. She has learned more about death than any child her age should, but she has also learned more about heaven, too. We can’t help but to think that David Wayne had a hand in blessing us with his little sister, Sadie, who was born in February 2021.
We have learned that one of David Wayne’s heart valves was viable and helped a child in Michigan. We pray that the receiving family finds it in their hearts to reach out to us.