Share. Connect. Love.

Posted 2017-09-22T20:25:00Z

To The Family of My Husband's Donor

To the Family of My Husband’s Donor,

As I witness my husband breathing deep with ease, I recognize it is because someone else no longer is. Behind the miracle of my husband’s double lung transplant is another family’s tragedy and loss. There are no words that can express our gratitude and awe of the miracle our family has received. We only pray that you can find some healing in knowing that your loved one has touched other people’s lives through their gift of organ donation. No words can truly express what we have experienced. Thank you feels too simple to say, yet I hope you will know the weight of meaning behind those two words.

Thank you, for allowing the gift of life for others during your darkest pain. My husband and I were starting to prepare ourselves for our lasts. The last time my husband would spend the holidays with family, the last time we would celebrate our wedding anniversary together, or the last time he would hug and kiss our kids’ goodnight. My husband was born with Cystic Fibrosis and the disease had taken a toll on his lungs over the years despite all he did to stay healthy. In the last year and a half, he had gotten to the point of being dependent on oxygen around the clock and a bi-pap machine to sleep and for recovery as needed. His lungs had declined to only 14% capacity. After two near attempts of a transplant over the last seven months we were preparing for the worst and hoping for a miracle. We cannot imagine the heartache that your family now has of those “last” moments with your loved one. Our hearts are sympathetic to the hard reality that the month of September forever changed your lives. As you said goodbye, my husband was given the hope of a future.

Thank you, for the hope of years ahead. My husband is excited about the possibility of being a pastor again full-time, coaching our 8-year-old son’s sports teams, and taking our 9-year-old daughter on “daddy daughter dates”.  He is completing pulmonary rehab and is excited about the prospect of someday running again. Something he has been unable to do for many years. Simply taking a deep breathe without coughing is an experience he treasures.

Thank you, for entrusting the gift of an organ donation to a stranger. A piece of your loved one is within someone else. Please know that the weight of this is not taken lightly. This gift is precious and delicate and will be treated with respect. Organ donation is truly donating life to someone else. My husband’s recovery from his double lung transplant has not been easy at times, yet he is determined to do everything in his power to care for his body and his new lungs. He is refusing to lose hope when the road becomes difficult, but rather chooses to see everything as an opportunity to inspire others in the struggles that lay before them.

Thank you, for a gift that can never be repaid. My husband and I realize that the new lungs inside his body are a gift of life he did not deserve. He knows that with every breath he has been given, it is because of the gift of life through organ donation. It is a constant reminder of the gift we all can have within Jesus. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God generously offers us the gift of real eternal life through His Son Jesus if we place our trust in Him. There is nothing we can do to earn this gift of life. We do not deserve it, all we can do is receive it with thanksgiving and share His love with others. Please know our desire is to share the gift of love we have received with everyone that crosses our path. While these lungs give breath to my husband he will use them to encourage and love others. 

May your family find some comfort in knowing how precious this gift of life has been to my husband, our children, and myself. We are praying for your loss and healing in the days and years to come. Your loved one will not be forgotten, but cherished with every passing breath.

With a Heavy and Grateful Heart,

Stay in the know. Sign up to receive email notifications the moment new Journal entries are posted

Comments (7)

  • Lorrie Kay Reed
    Lorrie Kay Reed

    My husband died 14 months ago. He was an organ donor. I received a letter from the RTI Donor services that our decision "has resulted in the preparation of 87 implants at this time, which have been or will be used in a variety of medical procedures to help others." It did bless me to know that my loss helped someone else! So know that your gratitude is a blessing to the donor family!

    4 years ago · Reply
    • Kendra Haas
      Kendra Haas

      I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

      4 years ago · Reply
  • Correne Gaboda
    Correne Gaboda

    I have written letters to my donor family - I had a kidney transplant in 2010. There just are no words to adequately express the gratitude that my heart feels for the gift they have given me or the sadness my heart feels for their loss. This is a beautifully written, Holy Spirit breathed letter.....

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Myhia Chapman
    Myhia Chapman

    I donated my kidney in 2016. It's me that can't Thank him enough. That kidney donation renewed my faith in God, made my family stronger, kinder, and more helpful. One act affects so many people. God bless you

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Karen Orr
    Karen Orr

    So beautifully expressed. I am so happy for this gift of life that Jed has received. I pray for his continued improvement. Thank you for such a poignant reminder of the rest of the truth behind this miracle. I love yours and Jed's hearts for sharing the love of Jesus.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Tracy Zeckmeister
    Tracy Zeckmeister

    I love God's timing! While I was driving home from work on Friday, God brought you to my mind, so I prayed for you all right away while I was driving. When I said Amen, I looked over & noticed on my cell phone that there was a notification that this message was just sent from you! Praising Him for your journey so far & praying that you continue to feel His presence as you continue to move forward in His perfect will.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Marla Janssen
    Marla Janssen

    Kendra, My husband and I have been attending another church for some time in order to be with my mom. We did not know all you were going thru. We praise God for Jed's health and strength, while remembering in the same prayers the family who faced such deep loss. Our daughter was in the youth group with Jed years ago, and we know the extent of his love for others! Blessings, Marla and Jon (and Dorie) Janssen

    4 years ago · Reply