Monday, September 23, 2013

Aidan Lives: An Open Letter to His Tissue Recipient

Dear Colleen,

We received your kind note thanking us for the tissue donation you received from our beautiful boy, Aidan. We cried when we read it, because we are consumed with missing our boy; but at the same time we were glad that a part of him lives on. We're glad that he was able to help you regain a strong, healthy knee.

I imagine you being able to do normal, everyday things now that you haven't been able to do for a long time: walking on a trail, lifting your child or grandchild, taking the steps instead of the elevator. It's hard for me to believe that a literal piece of Aidan has made this possible.

In your note you said that you didn't have enough of your own tissue available for an autograft reconstruction of your ACL. This is why you needed an allograft, a donation of tissue from a deceased donor. I did some research after receiving your note, to help me to understand better how this process of tissue donation works. I learned that the field is not without controversy, and that there are some serious concerns about the business of tissue and organ harvesting--such as limited regulation and tracking; but I also read the stories of others like you, who received gifts of life and health and hope.

Less than a month after Aidan died we received a letter from Gift of Hope telling us that a man from Chicago and a man from Skokie each received a second chance for sight because of Aidan's "final act of charity." I am hopeful that problems with the business of organ and tissue donation, especially those related to profiteering, will be resolved so that there are no longer impediments or ethical concerns regarding the decision to donate these gifts of incalculable value.

Mr. Peevie and I have both followed Aidan's lead and signed on to be organ and tissue donors--in part because we were so touched by your note. I hope many of the billions of loyal Green Room readers will join us.


E. Peevie
Aidan and Mr. Peevie. South Haven. Summer 2012.


studioGypsy said...

i love this picture. and your letter. xoxo

jeanie said...

I loved that one of the recipients sent a note of thanks. I am in awe of Aiden's generosity