Dear Donor Family.

Dear Donor Family:

Scott! How do I write this? What should we say?

I don’t know, thanks for donating? You’re better at writing than I am.

But you’re the recipient. I’ll look at the donor organization website for ideas. It says here that the majority of ligament and tissue donors are otherwise healthy and relatively young who died in accidents. Since the tissue and ligaments can be taken off a body up to 24 hours after the heart stops, there are many more of these type of donors. In comparison, organ donors need to be “alive” but brain dead. So I am assuming your donor was young and died suddenly so the family donated what they could.

That’s really sad. Why are you telling me this?

The family needs peace, Scott. I just want them to get a little bit of happiness knowing their loved one is back at it.

Dear Donor Family:

We wanted to express our sympathy for the death of your family member. We also wanted to thank you for your family member’s Anterior Tibialis Tendon. This tendon came from the front part of your family’s member leg. It was used to repair my husband’s ACL.

Stop. Don’t say that. That sounds so mechanical. The front of your family member’s leg?

Can you tell I googled Anterior Tibilais Tendon? Dude. You didn’t even get a real ACL. It’s a tendon that is connected to the same bone Kate broke when she was 1. Remember? She broke her tibia bone. This is all connected and it’s blowing my mind.

Ooooooo….(rolls his eyes)

Ok. Read this.

Dear Donor Family:

We wanted to express our sympathy for the death of your family member. We also wanted to thank you for your family member’s donated tendon.

My husband, Scott, blew out his knee playing basketball. He was scheduled for surgery to carve out the meniscus in his knee on July 12. When the surgeon got inside his knee, he discovered he busted his ACL. This is Scott’s 2nd ACL injury – the first was playing baseball. Since Scott’s patella tendon was used in the first surgery, the surgeon chose to use a donated tendon as the new ACL. Your loved one was the chosen one.

Without this donated ACL, my husband would not be able to walk. He has done well in physical therapy and should be able to walk on his own in about 6 weeks.

Scott is a natural athlete and outdoorsman. On any given weekend, Scott can be found hunting, fishing, or lifting weights.

If Scott were not able to walk, I have no doubt he would still find a way to do his hobbies from a wheelchair or limping on his bad knee.

The one thing Scott would have trouble doing is being the dad he wants to be. We have two daughters, ages 7 and 4. If Scott were not able to walk, he would not be able to chase our girls around the house. He wouldn’t be able to make the girls a giant snowman in the winter. He would not be able to chase and catch lightening bugs for the girls in the summer. He would not be able to walk them to school in the mornings. He wouldn’t be able to show the girls how well he can ice skate after years of playing hockey.

I’m sure one day, he will want to stand at our front porch and stare down our daughters’ boyfriends. He will stand tall with pride and clap for our daughters’ on their graduation day. And he will cry on the day he walks each one down the aisle.

With your loved one’s donation, Scott can teach our daughters so much more. We have told our daughters that a very special person helped daddy’s knee work again.

I promise he will stay away from baseball fields and basketball courts. He will take good care of this knee for the rest of his life. He knows he has a piece of someone always with him, helping him be a dad. We thank you and your loved one.

— Julie, Scott, Emma and Kate

This makes me cry. You’re going to make them cry. 

But this person helped you. Can you imagine your life without a working knee?

Ok, send it.

5 thoughts on “Dear Donor Family.

  1. Absolutely beautiful. If that letter was coming to me, I’d feel proud and comforted. The world is an amazing place sometimes!


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