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Hero Tribute – Pami’s Story

To many, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance. To me, it will always be a day of remembrance but not in a typical way. In 2015 my youngest daughter, Pamela Sue Crawford, my best friend, died suddenly at the age of 42. She had a passion for life, lived it to the fullest and was never afraid to speak her mind. You could hear Pami’s laughter throughout the house, giggles and all. Oh, how I still miss those GIGGLES!

She grew up and became the mother of a healthy boy and four years after that the mother of twins. Along with that came 12 grandchildren who called her “Mami Pami”. Everyone in the family knew her as either Pami, Little Bit, Pig Pen or Mami Pami, but after May 28, 2015 she has a new title “HERO”!

Pami had been ill for many years and had many hospital stays. After her last hospital stay in April, 2015 she came home as usual but she didn’t feel well. I could hear her raspy breathing throughout the house. She told me a short time after her last hospitalization that she couldn’t do this anymore, the pain was too intense and she was too depressed. But I really didn’t understand that she was saying that she couldn’t go on any longer.

Pami very seldom came out of her bedroom but on this day she came out and set beside me. I looked at her and her lips and fingers were blue, she got up to go to the bathroom and I followed her. As soon as she got into the bathroom my sweet Pami suffered a heart attack. She was rushed to the hospital where she was declared brain dead. My family and I were shattered. I just wanted to leave, I was devastated, my children were not to die before me.

Through my pain and devastation, I learned that Pami was a registered organ donor. I was never more proud of her than at that moment.

My daughter saved three people through organ donation and I was told her heart went to research. I have a very special relationship with the recipient of Pami’s right kidney. I honestly feel that they are part of my family.

I was not an organ donor until this happened but I am now a registered donor and also a Donate Life Ambassador.

Thank you to Sandy, Pami’s mother, for sharing her story with us.

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