My daughter Madisynn was born with a rare and fatal condition known as Berdon’s Syndrome; she was unable to eat or digest food on her own. We were given little to no hope on her chances of living. In fact, we were told at birth that she would most likely not make it to six months and a 99 percent chance that she would never see her first birthday, unless she received a multi-visceral transplant. I knew nothing about organ donation or transplants. I had only been asked once if I was organ donor (when I got my driver’s license) and because I didn’t know anything about it or understand, I said “no.” But here I was at this important time in my life and faced with the fact that my little girl's life depended on someone else being an organ donor, and I couldn’t save her.
At just 10-weeks-old, Maddie was placed on the waiting list for a transplant. Over 20 surgeries and over 50 blood/platelet transfusions later, she made it! Madisynn received a liver, spleen, pancreas, stomach and intestines all from one donor. She did amazingly well. It was a miracle. Her third birthday was such a blessing! But exactly one month later, Maddie went into cardiac arrest and became brain dead. You may think that the transplant was not a success, but that is not true. My little girl was given precious time here on earth, and she enjoyed every minute of it.
We wanted to know if we would be able to donate any of Maddie’s organs when she passed, and we were very proud to find out that a little boy received her heart and the others were given for research!
Life is a circle, and being a donor just brings it right back around. It is extremely hard to lose a loved one, especially a child, but donation gives you such comfort and peace to know that your child, as young as they might be, made a difference - a huge difference. I want people to know the importance and how easy it is to be a donor. You can be a hero! You can save lives! My husband and I are both organ donors now and so are our two little boys. I have not had the opportunity to meet our donor or the recipient and his family, but I look forward to one day meeting all of them, and seeing life - full circle.