Families comforted by decision to donate loved one’s organs

donatelifeaz logo (2)During the month of April, National Donate Life Month, we will continue to publish some stories provided by the Donor Network of Arizona (DNA) to help illustrate how organ donation saves lives, tissue donation heals lives, and corneas restore sight.

The DNA is a  nonprofit, 501(c)3 federally designated organ procurement organization for the state of Arizona.  Their dedicated and passionate work saves and heals the lives of Arizonans.


Dear Hospital Staff,

Our Elizabeth was hard to resist, especially her impish smile. She was very ‘up’, a very active, outdoor type.

She died at age 26 of a cerebral aneurism. We were approached in the hospital by a representative of the organ procurement organization when brain death had been determined.

The long bones in her legs went to children with bone cancer. (Elizabeth was a very tiny person.) Her corneas were used, and her kidneys transplanted into two men in their 50’s, both family men. Her heart was “too big for a child, and too small for an adult”—so was she.

Sharing her body to give life and to enhance life was the way Elizabeth had lived her life. That her legacy continues is the only good that came out of a terrible moment in our lives.

Willie Brady
Elizabeth’s mom

Dear Hospital Staff,

I am writing to you to explain how paramount the gift of donation was to my family and how it helped comfort us during the toughest of times.

My Dad, James M. Sim, Jr. suffered a fatal heart attack. It was a sudden and unexpected death. My Dad had always been an advocate of donation and his decision to donate, and all the appropriate paperwork, had been made before his death. While this simplified the process for us, it did not diminish the effect of his decision. With his selfless decision, my Dad was able to give someone else the gift of sight. I love that someone else can now see the world through his eyes. Organ donation embodies the essence of my Dad – a kind and generous soul who loved to help others. It is a gift that enabled his spirit to continue and showcased his amazing character. Even in our grief, we were all so proud that my Dad’s death could help someone else.

Our experience only solidified what we already knew about donation, it is an important and rewarding decision. When you learn that someone else is going to benefit from your loved one’s life it is as if you are surrounded by a warm blanket – it just brings comfort. To have the assurance that a death is not in vain, that your loved one will not be forgotten, and that others will be able to understand the amazing person your loved one was – that is the true gift of organ donation. The recipient gets a new lease on life, and we were comforted by the fact that my Dad provided that chance. It’s yet another valuable memory and one last gift from my Dad.

Kelly Brown, Esq. – Donor Daughter

For more information on the registry, click here and check the new tribute site at http://liveonaz.org.

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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