Letter: Welcome gratitude after a lifesaving decision

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was pleased that you devoted space to the feelings of relatives of donors of organs ('Transplants that brought comfort to the bereaved', 17 August). My 21- year-old daughter died in October 1993 from brain damage after being knocked over on a pedestrian crossing.

She had carried a donor card for some time, but did not have it at the time of the accident, and there was some indication from her boyfriend that she may have changed her mind. Although I anticipated the request for her organs, it is a difficult decision to leave a loved one on life support to be operated upon for removal of organs. After some agonising, agreement was given and her heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys were used on three donees.

Of those three, only one has ever acknowledged the receipt of the organs. He wrote a most touching letter, which was relayed anonymously to us by the donor co-ordinator, and the letter was a great comfort to me. I now know that one donee died several months later, but without any word from her or her relatives. No word has been received from the third recipient.

I, like others, do not expect undying gratitude from donees. But I am sure I am not alone in wanting some recognition of a lifesaving decision made in difficult circumstances. If thought is spared for the feelings of the next of kin of donors, it may encourage donations to be given more readily.

Yours sincerely,


Coggeshall, Essex