New Comfort Kit Supports Donor Families in Tragedy
Lifeline of Ohio’s new support program for donor families hopes to shower them with some of life’s essentials during their loved one’s sudden tragedy.
Donor families are frequently subject to an unexpected, traumatic brain-death circumstance such as a car accident, heart attack or suicide that leaves loved ones paralyzed with grief. Summoned to the hospital at a moment’s notice, donor families can be there for days, leaving behind many of the daily essentials they need. Although the Family Services staff and the hospital Chaplain are there to support donor families, the complexity of the situation leaves families unprepared emotionally, financially, spiritually, and with end-of-life-plans to quickly coordinate.
Lifeline of Ohio’s Bereavement Services staff hopes to provide over 100 donor families with a Donor Family Comfort Kit at the hospital this year. The kits are given after families have authorized donation, whether or not the donation happens.
“We honor all of our donor families as they see their loved one save lives through donation,” said Jennifer Howell, hospital relations manager. “We hope the Donor Family Comfort Kit provides a level of comfort and control during the families’ helpless time of tragedy.”
The Donor Family Comfort Kits provide essentials such as: resource pamphlets (Should Children Know About Death, Funerals…Where to Begin, Normal Grief Reactions, and Donation Helpful Hints); a volunteer-made shawl; hygiene products (toothpaste, tooth brush, brush, fragrant/relaxing facial wipes and lotion, tissues, nail file, mouthwash, and eye drops); note pad and pen, bottle water (x2), calming tea bags (x2), children’s activity book and crayons; and a snack bag (life savers, fruit snacks, granola bar, peanut butter crackers, and sweet and salty mix).
You too can be the hope for the more than 118,000 people waiting for a life-saving transplant. Register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
Written by Julie Armsey, bereavement services coordinator