We often hear about the importance of organ donation from the recipient side, and I think Aaron and I have made it abundantly clear just how much we cherish Addison’s second chance at life. But what about the donor’s side? As you know, we have gotten to know our donor mom Felicia and her family, including an emotional face-to-face meeting in September. They are a part of our family now – we have a photo of Felicia’s beautiful little girl Audrey hanging in Addison’s room. Felicia has been such a powerful spokesperson for raising awareness about organ donation. Today she is giving a speech to a group of medical personnel and I thought I’d share it with you.
Organ donation, an idea I knew of but never thought about. There was no thought process in my mind when asked if I would donate my first born baby girl’s organs. I immediately said YES. I cannot say that the YES answer to that question is as easy for others to answer as it was for me, but what I can say is that I am doing everything in my power to educate people into knowing how powerful that Yes answer really is.
Death is a topic in which most would prefer not to talk about, but there’s a brighter side of death that is taboo and needs the light shined on it now more than ever. With over 120,000 people in America on the waiting list for their life saving transplant and even more people not sick enough to be on the list, now…TODAY… is the day to believe in this idea of organ donation and be aware of what this means. There is a bigger picture I need you to see today, organ donation is about saving a person’s life. It gives that person’s family and friends more quality time with them and memories that will last forever. You see how organ donation can help the recipient, but what about the donor families?
As a young 19 year old first time mom to the baby I always wanted, having my daughter live only a few short days here on this earth with NO medical reason why she had to die…was very hard for me to understand, even today I have no answer but I have a way to cope. Audrey got to donate her heart to another baby and her two kidneys to a 38 year old woman. Addison’s parents get to watch her grow up, Hydee is in the process of adopting a baby of her own. I get to see how my daughter helped these two people and their families and that means more to me than anything.
I had two choices when I lost my daughter, become a complete depressed mess or make life what I wanted it to be. I stayed positive and found my answer to the question everyone asks when a tragedy happens…WHY. This is my WHY, organ donation saves lives. So please, I know you often times think of the patient in front of you that isn’t going to make it but remember the lives that can be saved from organ donation, the families that can cope and be OK with the reality of the death of their loved one, and the many hearts it touches. Thank you for letting me share Audrey with you.
– Felicia Hill
Felicia, thank YOU for sharing Audrey with us.
Elaine, Aaron and Addison