We Remember Quilt
So many sweet memories live on in the hearts of the families who remember donors with love.
Corey Paul Rindfuss
May 22, 1987 – July 9, 2000
There is so much we want everyone to know about our son. Corey has one sister, nineteen cousins, many aunts, uncles and grandparents who love him so much. He loved joking with everyone and you would always find him playing with the kids. He would play video games and watch movies with them.
Corey loved every sport but never mastered any, always giving it his all and always with a big smile on his face. Corey loved to play football, baseball and tried wrestling but could never quit giggling and laughing to get off his back. This wasn’t the sport for him. From 4-wheeling, snowboarding and competition archery shoots with his dad, he always had a wonderful time and made friends wherever he went.
Our son Corey was going into the 8th grade in the fall of 2000, but that summer is what changed our lives forever. He had attended the police academy for the youth in June and we were so proud of him. The pride he felt in himself was amazing.
This nightmare began about 6 days after the police academy. Corey went on and archery trip with is father an uncle. They loved going to compete in the International Bow Hunters Organization Archery Tournaments in different states. This competition was in Nelsonville, Ohio, it was the first time they went without his sister and me. We decided to stay home and catch up on a few things but we didn’t know that would be the last time we would be together.
Corey got in the van to leave and gave me a hug and kiss, I told him he wasn’t leaving yet, he said, “that’s OK mom, you get 2 kisses now.” Corey was so affectionate and it didn’t matter who was looking or even if his friends were around, he still kissed and hugged us. They drove to the tournament and were amazed to find out that they would shoot together on the same course, which was never the case. My husband shot professional class and Corey shot the youth class. They spent a lot of time together that day. After shooting for the day, Corey went swimming while his uncle and dad sat around the pool. When he finished he told his dad he was going the room to get changed. On his way to the room he stopped at the front desk and told them he had a severe headache. They told him to lie down and they would find his father. Corey went into a seizure. They life-flighted him to Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He had suffered a Malformation of the Anterial Venus (a week blood vessel in the frontal lobe of the brain) he apparently had when he was born. Corey was gone. His sister and I flew to Columbus while they kept him on life support. We knew right away we would donate his organs. How could you let such a beautiful heart die? He was an amazing kid. We were able to donate most of his organs, which saved a lot of lives. We have since met the kidney and pancreas recipient, Tony, and his family. He is such a wonderful person. We are so proud of our son even in death he was able to help others. Corey was loving, caring and always found the best in everyone. Making people smile was one of his best qualities.
Corey made people feel special when all along he was the special one.
My sister Robyne Starr Crandell was born December 11, 1967 and died July 16, 1985. Robyne was only 17 years old. She would have been a senior at Westerville South High School. She was a fun loving girl who enjoyed dancing on the Drill Team and roller skating.
Robyne was on her was home from the Westerville Arts and Crafts show when a storm blew down a large tree branch striking her in the back of the head. The doctors said that she was brain dead and did we want to donate any of her organs. My grandmother and I thought long and hard about it. Something I never thought I would have to think about at the age of 14. My grandmother and I came to the conclusion that Robyne would have wanted to help someone else live on. Unfortunately organ transplants weren’t as advanced as they are now. Robyne “died” on the way to the operating room. This meant the only things that Robyne were able to donate were her corneas. I hope the two people who received her corneas know what a special gift my sister gave them.
Robyne was my only sibling and I miss her everyday. I hate that my children will only know their aunt through stories and pictures. It makes me sad the thought of another family having to deal with the loss of a loved one. I can’t tell other people what to think or how to deal with their grief. All I can say is that in one small way that it makes me feel better knowing that my sister helped two other people in need. I am a firm believer in organ transplant. It was hard to retell this story of my sister but just maybe it will help another family through a tough time. To all the families who have lost someone dear to them, my heart goes out to you. Thank you to all the families who have helped others live on. While it may be hard to say goodbye to our loved one, it is much better knowing that they helped someone else and their death was not in vane.
Robert Curtis Wicks, “Curt”
March 18, 1968 – September 18, 1987
Curt was born March 18, 1968 premature, weighing 4 lbs. 5 oz. and he fought for life.
Curt loved everyone and enjoyed many things, which included Boys Scouts, Cival Air Patrol, and Indian Guides. Curt played Trumpet in the West High School Marching Band and the concert band. Curt was good at riding a “Unicycle” and “Stilts.” Curt had a unique ability in many things, including putting a “Pea” (vegetable) in his mouth and blowing on it to keep it in the air. Curt loved to fish, and he played football. I remember an outing with Indian Guides where he brought home a huge frog, I let him keep it for a few days and we took it to the creek, needless to say, Curt wasnt very happy with me, but I told him it couldnt live out of its environment. I remember what a wonderful time we had in decorating his room; he wanted it in the West High School colors.
Curt made a terrible decision to end his young life; he was on life support for several days. LOOP was involved when the decision was made to donate. Even at the end of Curts life he helped many people with the donation of organs. Curt was a true inspiration to all of his friends and they would come to him for advice.
Curt, we miss you.
I want to add this letter that was written by one of Curts friends.
This was written by Lori Swisher in 1987 and given to me at Curt’s funeral.
To the family and friends of Curt Wicks:
Curts death has been a shock to all of us. It is going to take a great deal of time for all of us to adjust. Curt meant so much too so many people. He was a truly unique person who loved people for the RIGHT reasons – he loved them for being themselves. He inspired our lives with his dreams and fantasies. He helped us to understand that the world is truly ours and that no one can take it away from us. And in times of pain, he would always tell us to wipe our tears and go on with our heads held high. Curt felt that it was good to remember the past and to keep the memories close to your heart. But on the other hand, he felt that we all have to LIVE FOR THE FUTURE. Now is the time that we have to do this for him.
Curt loved us all so much, through good times and bad. The only thing he truly wanted was happiness: not only for himself, but for all those who he loved. Curt has been taken from us, but he now has the happiness he deserves. He will never suffer again, and this should make us truly happy. Even though we are suffering from a great loss, we must go on with our lives. Curt has not “left us;” he has just passed on to a truly greater life – to paradise. We must always keep in mind that Curt would not want us to mourn him, but to be happy for him. So now, instead of mourning his death, let us celebrate his new life – a life far more beautiful than the one he left behind.
Let us wipe our tears, and live for the future, keeping the memories of Curt close to our heart.
Ruth E. Wicks, Curt’s Mother
Adam Jeffrey Davis
August 31, 1997 – October 01, 2000
Our Little Man
Adam Jeffrey Davis was a beautiful, bubbly little boy. He was always happy and active. He along with his big sister are our pride and joy. After a rocky start when he was born, where he breathed in amniotic fluid, and had to be in Children’s Hospital for nine days and on oxygen for a month, he was always active and seemingly healthy. In his short three years he got to do many exciting things. We were always on the go with the kids, spontaneous trips to the zoo, Cedar Point, the races, anything that was going on we were there. He loved to play with his sister and he wanted to do all the big kid things that she did. Today it has been eight months since he died and I am so thankful that I was trigger-happy with my camera. We have tons of pictures of Adam. Every time he did something new we took a picture of it. And on days when I’m feeling really low I get out the videos that we made and watch them. It’s so comforting to hear his voice and see him smiling and acting silly.
Adam always seemed to be healthy. He was hardly ever sick. Once in a while he would get the sniffles or a belly-ache like all kids. He was breast fed as a baby so he was pretty healthy. He was chubby and active, a good eater and very big for his age. He was almost as big as his sister who is four years older than him! Then one day our whole world was shattered. Adam had complained of a belly-ache that Sunday afternoon, while we were visiting his grandparents. So I rocked him most of the day. Then he was his sister getting ready to go outside and play and he wanted to go. He said that he felt better, so his grandma put his shoes on him and he headed to the kitchen to console him. In a matter of seconds he was on the floor not breathing! I administered mouth to mouth and got him breathing again while the ambulance came. They whisked him to the hospital where doctors worked feverishly to figure out what had happened. They told us that his heart rate was very low and that a helicopter was on the way to take him to Children’s Hospital. So we told the doctor that we wanted to see him first. He was unconscious and they told us he was in no pain. His heart stopped at that moment and the doctors could not get him back. We were hysterical to say the least.
It was not until after the autopsy that we discovered that Adam died of a very rare cancer that afflicts only children called Wilms’ Tumor. This cancer is virtually undetectable, and has very few if any symptoms. The few symptoms that they may have mimic common illnesses like a belly-ache. The only way to diagnose it is by ultra sound, and that is only if there is good reason to perform the test. Looking back now we believe that Adam was meant to go and that we were not meant to discover his illness. He died a happy, very loved little boy. He did not have to suffer through surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy treatments. He died in peace. Now the only solace we have is that he is in heaven, and some day we will be with him again. Until then the Lord is taking care of him for us.
We donated Adam’s heart valves so that a piece of him could live on and hopefully keep other parents from going through the pain of losing a child. It is the hardest thing anyone could ever go through. The people at Lifeline of Ohio were very caring and gentle when they talked to us about donation. We knew right away that it was what we wanted to do. We are also listed as organ and tissue donors, and I plan to have blood work done to be placed on the national bone marrow registry. So many lives could be saved if more people would donate. If anyone would like to contact us about how to live through losing a child, please feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we had people, that we didn’t even know, that had been through losing a child contact us and it was very helpful to talk to someone that knew how we felt.
Adam’s quilt panel shows how cute he was in his cowboy hat! We think he looks like a little version of John Michael Montgomery! He is surrounded by his favorite things. He was fascinated by firetrucks and boats. And he loved Mickey Mouse, Scooby Doo, and Blues Clues. He will be missed, but the Lord gives us solace and strength to face each new day without him. He is always with us in our hearts. We love you Adam, our precious little man!
The doctors say you have to go away To a place where there is no more pain But before I can begin to let you go There are some things that mommy has to know Like, who’s going to rock you in heaven
Who is going to rock you in heaven Who is going to hold your little hand When bad dreams come, and you are scared at night Who’ll be there to love and understand And who will rock you in heaven
A big boy now, three years old, and so wise But sometimes late at night we compromise Just you and me in the dark, nobody stares When we get out that big old rocking chair But who will rock you in heaven
Who is going to rock you in heaven Who is going to catch you when you fall When you are sick and hurting and alone Who’ll be there to answer when you call And who will rock you in heaven
The angels spoke to me in my dreams They said, this is not as painful as it seems For we will not let him walk all alone When it is time for him to come home The angels will rock him in heaven
The angels will rock him in heaven And we will hold his little hand No bad dreams, no sickness, and no pain There is no cancer in our land And we will rock him in heaven
The angels are going to rock my little boy In Heaven.
John W. Penwell
January 23, 1943 – September 03, 1998
My brother, John Wesley Penwell, or better known as “Jack” by his family and friends, was always special I thought. He was always on the go even when he was a toddler, he would take off and visit the neighbors. When we three children got to a certain age music lessons were given. Jack excelled in violin and piano and had a good voice. He always wanted to go to college and was determined. So, by various jobs from working at Cedar Point to playing for churches he did go to college. I proudly watched him graduate from Ohio State University.
A few years later he married Jane Ann Williams and we all became one family. He was so proud when his son, Jonathon, was born. He was a joy to all of the family. The time flew by and we all got to see Jonathon graduate from college and marry. Jack never got to see his grandson or baby-sit him. His dream was to sail the South Seas in a Scooner with the sails flying in the wind. We never knew how many people he helped until his funeral. We often heard, “he was my mentor” and “he changed my life” and “it was a pleasure just to know him.” Hearing these kind words made us feel so proud of him! Those who love him still miss him every day, but we will never forget.
Lou Edwards is an exceptional person.
We say “is” not was because he is still with us. Somewhere his eyes are still seeing. We only hope that they are seeing life as Lou saw it. Every hour of every day was an adventure for Lou. He loved life and he grasped it firmly and with his entire being. Lou could feed, wash, and cuddle a newborn baby. He could go nose-to-nose and eye-to-eye with a room full of Teamsters. He had the power and the strength to successfully complete whatever task he was given. And, regardless of the task he completed it with a grin on his face. Lou had the ability to put people at ease and to make them smile. He loved his family, his wife, his daughters, and his grandchildren first and foremost. He loved his church, his friends, his golf buddies, the family pets, and even his professional opponents. He had so much love to give and he gave it unconditionally. To see life through Lou’s eyes is to see only the best of every person and situation.
“Think of him as living in the hearts of those he touched, for nothing loved is ever lost. And he was loved so much.”