Relatives of T'Neil Martin took comfort in knowing the donation of the Lexington teen's organs helped several familes. Sunday they met two men whose lives were likely saved by Martin's gift.
A year after T'Neil died from a rare brain disorder, her family still has chores to do... and preparations to make for when T'Neil's twin sister, D'Neil welcomes the newest member of the family into the world. But before that, T'Neil's parents are preparing another welcome as their daughter's long goodbye continues.
"Sometimes I have my days where I do cry," T'Neil's dad James Henry said as he waited to meet two of the organ recipients, "and then I have my days where I look up and just smile because without her, these people that we're going to meet, they never would have had... probably would not have had life."
It's been a difficult year for James and Denisha Henry, but at the hardest moment for any parent, they made the decision to donate T'Neil's organs to honor what they're sure would have been her wishes. "She was just so loved by so many people," T'Neil's mom Denisha Henry said, "and the fact that so many people loved her was just a testimony to the fact that she was a giver, and she loved life, and she would have wanted to give."
T'Neil gave organs to people across the country including retired police officer Pete Push who received one of her kidneys after spending five and a half years on a waiting list.
T'Neil's other kidney went to Rodney Mynhier, who like Push, welcomed the opportunity to meet his donor's family. Over the past year, the two men have gotten to know each other in their doctor's waiting room for follow-ups, but this is the first time they've met T'Neil's relatives. "There are a lot of us out there, me and this gentleman," Push told the Henry's sitting in their living room along with Mynhier, "who owe you an eternal debt of gratitude."
"It's like she lives on, and I can actually see you all, and that's the thing about it that gets me through," James Henry said.
Monday is Minority Donor Awareness Day. The annual celebration is a nationwide observance to educate minorities of the need for donation and transplantation within the multicultural community.
To learn more about how you can become a donor, go to: www.kyorgandonor.org