Outliving Her Life – Dash for Donation
To try and sum up Christina in a few short words is a difficult task, nearly impossible in my book (it would be a book to just describe her!). Her laugh was contagious and her personality would draw out both the shy and outgoing. Her zeal for life translated into her job as a Pre-K teacher. She adored her kids and they reciprocated with love for her.
Monday, June 23, 2014 both Christina and I were off work. She wasn’t feeling well, so I spent the day taking care of her. She still wasn’t feeling better the next day and again stayed home from work. Upon arriving home from work that evening I found Christina to be on the mend and back to her normal ornery self. We ate dinner together and watched some movies before heading to bed.
I remember her reading as I drifted off to sleep. Being a deep sleeper, it was surprising that I awoke a mere forty minutes later to a strange sound. Upon turning the lights on I found Christina not responsive – I performed CPR on her until paramedics arrived to take over. She was then rushed to the hospital.
Doctors tried everything they could to save her, but tragically, Christina never regained consciousness. She was only 39 when she passed away on June 30, 2014.
Upon her death, I was approached with the opportunity of organ donation. She was not a registered organ donor so the decision fell on me as whether or not to donate. I elected to donate her organs – I describe it as “the easiest hard decision” I ever had to make.
A few weeks later I received a letter talking about Christina’s gifts – she saved four people with her kidneys, lungs and liver. They had received the miracle they had desperately been waiting for.
Then, three months after Christina’s passing, I received a personal letter from one of the recipients. Both of the letters confirmed I had made the right decision. It felt good to know that the recipient was doing well and was thankful for Christina’s Gift of Life.
At the encouragement of friends, I am excited to have Team Windy CAT at the Dash for Donation this year! To embrace all that she was, we took “Windy” as a play on our last name and “CAT” from her maiden initials. We look forward to celebrating not only the impact she had on people’s lives while she was with us, but also as she is “outliving her life” through organ donation.
Having gone through all this I realize even more the importance of being a donor. The many lives one person can impact through the gift of donation is astounding. Today I would encourage you to “Outlive Your Life” by registering to be a donor!