On February 14, 1991, I was wheeled into an operating room at Syracuse’s University Hospital for open heart surgery (my parents have a twisted sense of irony, which thankfully they passed on to me) to install a valve that had been missing since birth and repair a hole inside the heart. It’s the kind of surgery you have to actually stop the heart for in order to perform the necessary fixes, so you can imagine the kind of Valentine’s Day it was for my Mom & Dad, when they tell you they’ve stopped your son’s heart (talk about being anxious over how the rest of the day goes…). Yes, it was quite a day.
But what I want to talk to you all about is the fact that I was the recipient of a donor valve from a child I’ll never meet, whose parents made a decision a few days or hours before Valentine’s Day to allow their son to have a legacy that has lasted beyond his too-short life. I see the scar from the surgery every day and it serves as a reminder that I am here because someone gave me a gift, and so, whoever and wherever that boys parents are, thank you.
If you’re not an organ donor yet, please give it some serious consideration. It’s one of those gifts that really does keep on giving.
You can find out more here: http://www.organdonor.gov/
Have a great Valentines Day everyone!