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Writing to Your Donor's Family.

Transplants | Last Active: Apr 15 4:40pm | Replies (45)

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Who has contacted their donors family to thank them? Opinions
I received a lung Transplant in 2005 and felt bad I haven’t contacted my donors family to thank them. I didn’t have the right words to tell them thanks, I don’t know what I would even say now.
A bad time in their lives turned out to be a lifesaver for me. Is it too late?

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Replies to "Who has contacted their donors family to thank them? Opinions I received a lung Transplant in..."

I received my transplant in 2016, I'm so grateful that they made the difficult decision to donate their family members organs that I wasn and still become overwhelmed with emotion. So I wrote the family ( 6 months after )to thank them for their sacrifice so that I could be granted a new life at 66 years old I wanted to live so I could continue to celebrate life with my spouse and grandchildren. Since my transplant We have celebrated two more grandchildren being born. I'm so grateful 🙏

Hello. I received my transplant in November 2017. After the four month period dictated by the organization, I got a nice card and started a letter. I rewrote/restarted quite a few times. I got it back through the proper channels. It was edited and deemed perfect, except included were two photos - one of our family on Easter showing all of us with matching tee shirts with the caption “Team xxx(my nickname), the back saying “Team xxx(the hospital where the transplant took place) and the title caption “Miracles do happen”. The one on the back could not be sent. Through a quirk, my donor parents had it on their table, their daughter had seen the card and noted she had seen the photo some where else. Our eldest daughter had posted on a business twitter. The donor’s sister contacted our daughter at 5 one morning and our daughter called us. What nervous energy that call created! Do I contact them, do I want to contact them? I spoke with my nurse coordinator. She said this happenstance occurrence was indeed rare, but I was “the driver in charge” from that point. Long story, we met and it was extremely helpful to the father, for it had been a suicide. They came to our Gift of Life celebration and found it extremely helpful and that celebration was 22 months post. We are not close and our paths would never has crossed otherwise, but what a connection! I think of them, their son and their loss daily and thank God for their selfless generosity. My advise to you - do it! They may or may not want to hear from you. Start your note with the last sentence from your post. Good luck! Aren’t we in a fortunate club?

My husband received his liver July 7, 2018. We sent a letter on his one year "transplantversary". We have never gotten a reply and I don't know what we would do if we did.

In my opinion, I say send a letter. It's never to late to say thank you. I'm sure they will appreciate the fact that you are still so thankful for the wonderful gift you received.


Hi @funk8nguy. Great question. It's never too late for kindness.
You'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion called "Writing to Your Donor's Family." In addition to the replies you've aleady gotton from @rwalkie @corn50 and @jodeej, you can click VIEW & REPLY to review comments made from other members too.

Here's another discussion that people might be interested in too:
- Letter to donor family: I'm not sure how to start https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/letter-to-donor-family/

@jodeej, you've come a long way! I think it'll be interesting for you to read your past comments.

Funk8nguy, in my opinion, it's never too late for kindness. If it's on your mind now, it's the right time.

@funk8nguy I started my letter with condolences and heartfelt sorrow for their loss. I acknowledged the value of the life that was lost and that my life was saved and how grateful my kids, family and friends were.

@funk8nguy I don't think it's ever too late but I would not delay it further. When my donor's parent's responded to me they included their names and their daughter's name. The whole thing is a bit complicated, but I discovered that her mother passed away about two years after my donor did. I'm glad I wrote while she was still alive because she sounded truly grateful to hear from me.

It was the most difficult that I have ever written but just express what's in your heart. Their lives will never be the same so you are not going to make it worse by writing now, even though it is late.

Did your transplant center give you a packet with examples of what to write and guidelines? Mine did and it was very helpful.