by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News
HOUSTON—A woman in Huffman experienced every mother’s nightmare -- a crushing loss that left her devastated, but she decided to pick herself up so she could help other moms. Shannon Lenox lost her 21-year-old son, Roy Heck, in April 2010 to a car accident.
"You break a plate and it shattered into a million pieces and you just scotch tape it back. That’s your life. That’s your heart from here on out," said Lenox.
In the depths of her grief, she decided to begin a blanket ministry after remembering how physically and emotionally cold the halls of the hospital were while she and her family waited for word on her son’s condition.
The blankets are given away to moms whose children, like Lenox's, are organ donors.
Tanya Sandefur lost her son, Dustin, last October. She received "One Heck of a Blanket." She said a staffer at the hospital heard about her ordeal and asked if she would like to receive one of the blankets made by Lenox. She gladly accepted it. It had fish on it, and her son was a country boy with a big smile who loved to hunt and fish.
"To me, this was all I had left," Sandefur said, while holding the blanket. "This was all I brought home from the hospital."
"It becomes the last thing that they have to hold onto," Lenox said.
Right now, her blankets are given away in only a couple of Houston hospitals that do organ transplants. Lenox said her goal is to place her blankets in every hospital in America. It’s a way to comfort grieving families and bring attention to organ donation.
Lenox also makes herself available to talk to, listen to and offer support to other grieving moms whose children were organ donors.
By the way, Lenox recently met Michael Nall of Cypress. He received her son’s heart.
"I’ve got a 60-year-old body. My mind thinks it’s 30 and I’ve got a 21-year-old heart," Nall said.
For the first time in his life, he is able to enjoy activities with his children and grandchildren. He had suffered five heart attacks, the first when he was just 36.
Lenox said nothing could be done to save her son, so donating his organs to someone like Nall only made sense. And like her blankets, the decision brings comfort.
"Why not give that gift of life? Why not have that legacy?" she said.