Dear Donor Family,
On September 2, 2008 I received a heart from your loved one. You, he or she and it saved my life. I promise I am taking care of this wonderful gift. Each day before I get up, I take a moment to feel this marvelous gift steadily thumping in my chest. It is alive and healthy and has created in me a new appreciation for life. More than that, though, I am always aware that this heart is not mine. It belongs to the kind of person all of us should aspire to be. Moreover, he or she came from the kind of people all of us should aspire to be.
Maybe it is my imagination, but since receiving my new heart in 2008, I feel a serenity I have never before felt. I feel a concern for others far greater than I thought possible, and I love cheese so much, I never liked cheese before I got I heart transplant, and I fell in love with music. I feel responsibility to all organ donors and their families to do what I can to honor their loved ones by committing the rest of my life to promoting organ donation. I was very sick prior to my transplant. I could no longer get around very well because my heart just could not pump efficiently enough, and I slept all day. I knew I was dying, and as a fifteen year old girl, I was so strong to go through with the transplant. I did not think I was that sick, but I was and as a young child that young I knew it and I was. As result, I believe that God saved me for a reason and that reason was to promote organ donation to honor you and your loved one and I know I can live my life to the fullest. I appreciate the simple things now.
I’m 20 years old, I have graduated high school and I’m studying to become a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon, I would have written sooner, but I wanted to make sure everything was working out so that I could show you what has been accomplished by your family’s decision to donate. I would also like to say how sorry I am for your loss. I would give it all up to put your family all back together again. It is nice to know that there are such special people in the world who care about other people so much. Saying thank you just doesn’t seem like enough when what somebody does is basically save your life. I sincerely hope that life treats your family to nothing but happiness and prosperity. If there is anything you would like to know about or from me, please don’t hesitate to ask. I just want to say thank you again. I don’t know if we will ever meet and although I am likely to be at loss for words, I would like to thank you personally. You gave me life, you gave me peace and you gave me a profound sense of gratitude and understanding. I am a new person and I hope that in your grief it helps to know that a part of your loved one is alive and that with his or her help I am living my life in a way that would make you proud.