Spencer always wanted to donate anything he could that would help others when he died. He told me even if his organs couldn't go to a person to save their life, he'd love for them to go to medical research. He was SUCH a kind and giving person.
We didn't really talk about organ and tissue donation when he neared the end of his life. It really never crossed either of our minds and the doctors didn't bring it up. I did think of it once and talked to Spencer about it the last few days he was here, but that's all the further it went. In hindsight I wish I would have brought it up with the doctors when I thought of it, but oh well, I can't go back.
The day that Spencer passed away we were driving back to Layton from the hospital and I got a phone call, not knowing who it was I nearly didn't answer due to the fact that I just wasn't in the mood to talk to anyone. But boy am I glad that I answered! It was the coordinator for organ and tissue donation!!! She told me that the only thing that Spencer was eligible to donate was his corneas. At that point I got a huge smile on my face and I just lit up. She continued to ask if that was something me and the family was interested in. I remember saying, "yes, yes, YES. He wanted to donate anything possible, so of course that is okay!." So she went on to tell me thank you and that they will proceed with the removal of his corneas as soon as I answered a questionnaire. I was told that if for any reason his corneas were not eligible to donate they would go to research at the U. Either way I was just fine with that since Spencer specifically told me that he would be okay with that - he wanted that.
After a 20 minute questionnaire she proceeded to tell me I would receive a letter in the mail telling me if they were able to donate them or if they used them for research.
Not a day passed by that I didn't wonder what happened to Spencer's corneas. Was someone seeing because of Spencer or were they learning? Did Spence give the gift of sight? Was someone seeing through his eyes? What a question! I was constantly on the edge of my seat to get the answer to that question.
Well about a week after Spencer's death I received a package in the mail. I noticed it was from the Moran Eye Center and I KNEW it was the answer to my question! I frantically opened up the package to find out what happened to Spencer's corneas....
I am SO happy to write that Spencer was able to give the gift of vision to someone who couldn't see =). Someone is now seeing through Spencer's eyes. What a great gift. I have no information about the recipient of his eyes but just knowing that maybe a person is seeing his/her children for the first time.... or colors.... or his/her wife/husband... Ahhh What an amazing thought =) I hope whoever received them is as deserving as could be. That they have a heart as big as Spencer's was. It might not have been the gift of life, but the gift of sight is equally as satisfying for me.
I so desperately wish Spencer could have donated more. To have saved more lives. He so badly wanted to. But every organ he had was diseased and his nephropathy effected his skin so that couldn't be donated either. I wish I would have thought to ask about his other organs going to research but as I said before - I cannot go back and change that.
I will later blog my spiel about organ donation, but for now I leave you with this:
If you haven't already, please sign up to be an organ donor! And remember to talk to your family about your wishes as well. You will be saving multiple peoples lives, there isn't a better gift than LIFE.