This is the letter mailed to Thomas’ family on September 27, 2005. Thomas’ gift of organ donation gave new life to FIVE people:
“Please accept my heartfelt sympathy on the death of your brother, Thomas. Families such as yours who remain thoughtful of others in the midst of grief give other people a second chance at life.
On behalf of LifeSource and those individuals waiting for transplants, I extend my deepest gratitude. Your brother’s donation celebrates Life: Thomas’s life and the lives of those he has given a second chance. Thank you for honoring his unselfish desire to give life to others.
I hope the following information comforts you as you learn something about those individuals who benefited from your brother’s donation.
A 67-year-old woman who had lupus, an autoimmune disease, received one of Thomas’s kidneys. She lives with her daughter in Minnesota. This woman began dialysis treatments in August 2003, and her name was added to the national kidney transplant waiting list in January 2004. She is doing well since her transplant surgery. Thomas’s donation and your generosity have given this woman a chance for a longer and healthier life.
Thomas’s other kidney went to a 46-year-old man from Minnesota who suffered from hypertension. This recipient is single, is currently disabled, and enjoys working on his yard. He had been waiting for a kidney transplant since February 2003 and is very fortunate to have received a transplant. Nationally, more than 63,000 people are currently waiting for kidney transplants. Because of Thomas’s gift, this man can look forward to a future filled with hope.
A 51-year-old man who had diabetes received Thomas’s pancreas. He is married, has two children, and lives in Minnesota. He had waited for a transplant since June 2005. Approximately 1,600 people in this country are waiting for pancreas transplants. This individual continues to recover in the hospital following his transplant surgery. His pancreas is functioning well, and he no longer requires insulin.
Thomas’s liver was given to a 61-year-old man from South Dakota who suffered from liver disease. This man is married and has four children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He was employed as a postal worker until he retired in 2001, and he now has his own handyman business. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and hunting. This recipient had waited for a liver transplant since November 2004, and he is doing well. Thomas’s donation and your thoughtfulness have given this man and his family an extraordinary gift beyond measure.
A 58-year-old man from the Midwest received the gift of one of Thomas’s lungs. This man suffered from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. More than 3,300 people wait for lung transplants in the United States, and he had waited for a lung transplant since June 2004. He is currently in the hospital recovering from his transplant surgery.
For medical reasons, we were unable to transplant Thomas’s other organs, tissue, and eyes. Please understand that this outcome does not diminish the importance of his desire to donate. Thomas’s willingness to donate is a gift in itself, offering hope to thousands of individuals waiting for transplants.
Again, thank you for honoring Thomas’s desire to give the Gift of Life to others through his organ donation. Your brother is truly a hero. The grateful transplant recipients and their families will never forget his invaluable gifts.
I hope the information in this letter provides comfort and peace to you. Please know that was an honor and pleasure to have spent time with you and your family. If you have any questions or if you just need to talk, please do not hesitate to call me at 651-603-7800 or toll-free at 1-888-536-6283.”
Tara Flayton, RN, BSN, CPTC