How to write a confidential letter to your recipient.

Lifeline of Ohio is dedicated to maintaining that confidentiality while recognizing the benefits of communication between a donor family and recipient. Lifeline of Ohio facilitates written correspondence between the transplant recipient and the donor family. All correspondence is completely anonymous and identities are kept confidential.

Guidelines and Tips for Writing to Transplant Recipients

By saying “yes” to donation, your loved one has shared the Gift of Life. Many times families want to write to the transplant recipients of their loved one’s organs to let the recipients know how they feel about the donation process and to share a little information about their loved one. The decision to write is entirely personal and Lifeline of Ohio is here to support you in any way we can. Some ideas on what to include in a letter:

  • Include only your first name (do not include your last name, address, or phone number).
  • Include personal information about yourself and your loved one: age, interests, hobbies, and/or family information.
  • Mention special memories with your loved one.

Additional Information:

  • You can send a card or a letter.
  • On a separate piece of paper write your full name, the full name of your loved one who was a donor, and the date of death – this will allow us to correctly identify the recipient and forward your correspondence.
  • If there is more than one transplant recipient, we can photocopy your letter and forward it to each recipient for you (if you would like for us to copy this letter to all of the recipients, please indicate this on a separate piece of paper).
  • Send your card or letter to Lifeline of Ohio, Attn: Bereavement Services Coordinator, 770 Kinnear Rd., Columbus, OH 43212.
  • You will receive a note confirming that the letter was forwarded.
  • Any information in your correspondence that might breach confidentiality will be taken out.

It is our hope that writing this letter will help you and the transplant recipients. In maintaining confidentiality, we cannot provide you with specific information about the recipients, but if we can be of assistance to you as you write your letter, please feel free to contact us.

Donor Family and Recipient Meetings

Many times Lifeline of Ohio is asked if individuals can meet their donor family or recipients. The decision to donate is confidential, and Lifeline of Ohio is dedicated to maintaining that confidence. At the time of donation, the anonymity of the process is explained and the opportunity to meet recipients is not promised. If the mutual desire of both the donor family and recipients is to meet, Lifeline of Ohio does not hinder these wishes.

Several criteria must be met for donor families and recipients to meet:

  • Independent communication between both parties – writing a note, letter or card.
  • At least six months have passed since the donation/transplant.
  • Donor family and recipients agree that they are open to the request.
  • Contact has been made to the Bereavement Services Coordinator at Lifeline of Ohio.
  • Both the donor family and recipient must sign a general release and return it to Lifeline of Ohio.

Once the criteria have been met, information on “Things to Consider” will be provided and Lifeline of Ohio will work to arrange the meeting.

In the instance of tissue donation, recipients are not identified until they send a correspondence of gratitude to their donor’s family.