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Living Without You - My Brother's Gift of Life

Posted by @dawn_giacabazi, Nov 23, 2016

I don’t think anyone can ever really be prepared for such a loss. It is just too much to try to wrap your head around until it happens. Even then, it can feel almost unreal.

“It was the most out of body experience to be watching one life leave us and go to his new home but the next three OR rooms around us were patients eagerly awaiting their renewed hope of life. I didn’t know if I wanted to let go or hang on. I pray they take great care of his life that lives on in them.”

My story, My younger brother was in a horrible accident. He was riding his 4 wheeler and a vehicle hit him and left him on Friday. The next 48 hours would be an out of body exspereince. I had delt with trauma and more specificly, brain trauma for many many years.

I didn’t know what to do or say or anything. I guess being a loved one for whatever reason, all of my exspereince and knowledge had completely disappeared when I needed it most.

Now what???? Go home and No more dirt tracked in by your work boots, no more fixing that broken door for the fiftieth time, no more laughter, no more meals that only you like.

The only thing that has gotten me through. The knowledge that God has forgiven your sins and you live on in peace with no pain. The knowledge that I will be gifted with the same promise when my time comes. The knowledge that when the time is right we will all be reunited.

I understand some things better than I did in the beginning, since I now know what it feels like to have no hope, no love, to feel all alone in a planet full of people. I know now what it feels like to want to end your life, how deep the sorrow and despair can go.

We must talk, to each other, we must share our feelings, we must know that whatever we are feeling we are not alone. I have learned not to judge, I have learned the blessing of giving a gift of life, I am learning to live again.

Gift of Life
Dawn

REPLY

@dawn_giacabazi Beautifully written, Dawn! Thank you for a look inside of your heart. Teresa

Dawn, thank you for posting this story about you and your brother. The pain of your loss is palatable. So is your strength. Knowing the comfort that the gift of life brings you will resonate very strongly with the members of the Transplants group as many of them are recipients of such a gift – a gift that transcends all others I believe.

Your message is particularly poignant today, the celebration of Thanksgiving, and a perfect pairing with @rosemarya‘s message “Celebrate your Transplant Blessings” http://mayocl.in/2g87deB

Thank you and I give thanks to the stories that will be collected in these discussions.
#gratitude

Rosemary,
I am so thankful for your donors as well. So thankful we have the opportunity to encourage each other and all the Connect members now and the new ones to come.

May God continue to bless you friend!
Dawn

@dawn_giacabazi

Rosemary,
I am so thankful for your donors as well. So thankful we have the opportunity to encourage each other and all the Connect members now and the new ones to come.

May God continue to bless you friend!
Dawn

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Dawn,
Thank you for this courageous message. You have opened your heart and exposed the reality of what happens in order for us, the organ recipients, to receive the Gift of Life.

I think (I know) that it is very difficult for a recipient to put into words what they have experienced. And there is a tremendous guilt that recipients experience, along with an unworthiness and the solemn responsibility of caring for those organs. It is extremely difficult to deal with that plus the medical complexities that accompany the prior sickness and the surgical recovery.

I was encouraged to write to my donor family at my 4 month check-up. I did write to my donor family and I did receive a letter in reply that gave me the permission to ‘live my life’. That gave me peace. I hope that you will hear from your brother’s organ recipients in the future. I want you to enjoy some peace at some time, somewhere in your future.
Love,
Rosemary

Certainly a difficult topic and even more on Thanksgiving. I hope it will encourage others to at least know someone else has a glimpse of understanding.

Love
Dawn

@dawn_giacabazi I’m sure your words will encourage others, Dawn. They were so beautifully expressed. Blessings, my friend. Teresa

@rosemarya Thank you so much for expressing your feelings about being an organ recipient. I’ve never considered how that would feel. You’ve given me a new perspective on this experience and I appreciate it!

To Dawn and anyone who is a donor family member,
I was at a Christmas Dinner with some of my transplant group last Tuesday evening. We enjoyed a delicious dinner while listening to a fabulous group of singers. After the entertainment, we each introduced ourselves. There were around 10 transplant recipients and 1 living kidney donor in attendance. As we introduced ourselves, someone kept a tally of the years of life that we celebrate due to organ donation. – 214 years of life! All made possible because of the selfless act of families such as yours. There were tears freely flowing as we each gave thanks for our donor’s life giving gift. I want you to know that your loved ones are not forgotten, ever.
I was the ‘baby’ of the recipient group in transplant life years with 7 post transplant years. The actual youngest person in the group was a 12 year old young man who received a heart transplant when he was 18 months old.
Your loved ones are responsible for Miracles. Thank you
Rosemary

@rosemarya

To Dawn and anyone who is a donor family member,
I was at a Christmas Dinner with some of my transplant group last Tuesday evening. We enjoyed a delicious dinner while listening to a fabulous group of singers. After the entertainment, we each introduced ourselves. There were around 10 transplant recipients and 1 living kidney donor in attendance. As we introduced ourselves, someone kept a tally of the years of life that we celebrate due to organ donation. – 214 years of life! All made possible because of the selfless act of families such as yours. There were tears freely flowing as we each gave thanks for our donor’s life giving gift. I want you to know that your loved ones are not forgotten, ever.
I was the ‘baby’ of the recipient group in transplant life years with 7 post transplant years. The actual youngest person in the group was a 12 year old young man who received a heart transplant when he was 18 months old.
Your loved ones are responsible for Miracles. Thank you
Rosemary

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@rosemarya What a wonderful story, Rosemary. It gave me chills as I read it, especially about the 12 year old. Miracles are all around us!

@rosemarya So wonderful 214 years. Definitely puts things in perspective. Go bless all the organ donors and certainly all the recipients. I have really taken advantage of the opportunity to reflected on this miracle of transferring one gift of life to another. The ability to give and receive is so exstrodinary both physically and emotionally.

May God continue to bless you with abundance.
Love & hugs
Dawn

Dear Dawn, I, as a transplant recipient, really felt moved by your message. I hope that the recipient is as grateful as I am for the generosity of the donor and his/her family. I can guarantee that I am taking the best of all possible care for this wonderful gift of life.
Being a recipient is a life changing experience in so many ways. I will never again take a day for granted. I didn’t find out until after my transplant just how far gone my liver was so I was very fortunate to get my transplant when I did, sooner than anticipated.
I did not receive my gift at Mayo but I had spoken to the transplant people there and was very close to double-registering when I got the call.

I have now registered to be a donor for whatever of me can be useful to someone else.

Thanks for your posting,

Hi @contentandwell thank you!! So good to here from you. I am very confident the Cypionate’s are taking very good care of themselves.

Blessings
Dawn

Well that was not what I wanted to say!! I meant to say I’m sure the donor recipients are taking great care of themselves.

@contentandwell

Dear Dawn, I, as a transplant recipient, really felt moved by your message. I hope that the recipient is as grateful as I am for the generosity of the donor and his/her family. I can guarantee that I am taking the best of all possible care for this wonderful gift of life.
Being a recipient is a life changing experience in so many ways. I will never again take a day for granted. I didn’t find out until after my transplant just how far gone my liver was so I was very fortunate to get my transplant when I did, sooner than anticipated.
I did not receive my gift at Mayo but I had spoken to the transplant people there and was very close to double-registering when I got the call.

I have now registered to be a donor for whatever of me can be useful to someone else.

Thanks for your posting,

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@contentandwell,
I also am a registered organ donor. As soon as I learned that I, a recipient, could be a donor, I made sure that I was registered.
One of the most beautiful things that people have said to me after my successful transplant was, “I registered to be an organ donor, because I see the miracle that happened for you.”
Rosemary

@dawn_giacabazi

Well that was not what I wanted to say!! I meant to say I’m sure the donor recipients are taking great care of themselves.

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Dawn, thanks for the clarification, I even googled Cypionate’s because I was uncertain what that meant! I had planned to ask you but had to get off due to a commitment.

JK

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