Late on May 10th , or very early on May 11th 2007 ….. or, maybe even days before ….. someone died an untimely death and I was the TRULY blessed person to receive a donated heart. It was the ULTIMATE gift that a person could ever receive. It was a gift to be cherished every day.
I was given a second chance at life!!!!!!
Daily, I give thanks to God for this gift. Daily, I pray for my donor. Daily, I pray for my donor’s family. Almost 3 years later, I’m still in awe!!!
“As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.” ~Terri Guillemets
I have often wondered about my donor. Who was this person? What were they like? What were their likes and dislikes? Young or old? Family? Values? Their thoughts?
One quiet summer Sunday morning after deep thought, in regard to my donor, I thought ….. I wondered if I could find this person, who gave me life? I mean, with the internet one can find almost anything. And with my mathematical skills and the use of statistics I could narrow the search down and have an answer in a few minutes. Now mind you, my state of mind was VERY emotional so I wasn’t exactly thinking about “ethics”.
To find something, you need to have “knowns” …… I knew the date, but what else did I know? I had heard that the transplant center needed to use a jet to pick up my heart and it had a one way range of 2,000 miles. Hmmmmm,( pi X 2,000 squared) is a MASSIVE area. Take this massive area, minus 33% for oceans. Take that number, minus another 30% for a foreign country. That subtotal is still a massive area. Probably 2/3 of the states would be covered. That won’t work. Dreams or vague references existed in my mind that were confusing at best, that my donor was from the great state of Tenneesse, perhaps Nashville, or maybe Memphis …. but even that is a large land mass and what if he/she actually lived right across the state line, in another state?
What else do we know? The donor would have to be younger. But, if one looks at statistics, there are about 6,800 people per day that pass away in this great country of ours. And, exactly what is “younger”, perhaps under the age of 35?
The donor may have been male or female. Based on my size, the odds are my heart came from a male, but that’s an assumption. Assumptions are not facts so that does not help to narrow the percentages. I believe, but it’s not a fact, that my donor would have to be within 5″ of my 6′-1″ frame, and within 35 pounds of my 185 weight (at that time). Still could be ANYONE from 5′ 8″ tall to 6′ 6″ and from 150 to 220 pounds, or so. That fits half of the country.
I know my blood type, but that is no help. A+ is fairly common and how would you search on blood types? Also, my donor had been exposed to both Hep-B and Hep-C, something else, even though is not common.
And, since not all deaths are not reported via obituaries, what if the information is not even available, on-line?
My mind is running a thousand calculations of land mass divided deaths per day, minus this factor and adding this prorated number. As my mind is crunching numbers, my fingers type….. “Died May 11, 2007” ….. into a search engine and the instantaneous response was 57,000,000 possibilities.
57,000,000 X (6,800*.667) X 6,500,000, multiplied by a factor of 0.25, over 13, + (a/b*z) = OH MY GOD !!!!!
It was at that point that a few tears ran down my cheek. Had I gone too far? At that point, I wasn’t sure but I decided to never attempt this search again. To be truly thankful for this ANONYMOUS gift, all I need is to give thanks daily. If God wants me to know about my donor and donor family, at some point there will be mail in that regard from my Organ Procurement Organization.
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~ William Arthur Ward
Instead, I decided to honor my anonymous donor by making some anonymous donations to, what will remain anonymous groups and organizations. I also continue to pray each and every day for my donor and his/her family.
In retrospect, I found what I was looking for ….. My donor is part man, part woman. My donor is a mixture of all the races in the world. My donor had a bald spot surrounded with black, blonde, red, brown, gray and even some blue hair. My donor was a sharing, caring, loving person that knew the true value of human life …… right up to that last breath.
I live to be the same way.
My donor is my HERO!!!
The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! ~Henry Ward Beecher