The Star Phoenix | SHARON KIRKEY, NATIONAL POST, WITH FILES FROM THE OTTAWA CITIZEN
|Rowan Stringer Holding the ball. photo: The National Post|
The night before her 17-year-old daughter was taken off life support, Kathleen Stringer climbed into her intensive-care bed.
She rested her head on Rowan's right shoulder, then wrapped her arm around her body. She sang lullabies, the way she used to whenever her daughter would fuss as a baby.
Rowan, who had suffered a catastrophic head injury during a high school rugby match, was declared braindead at noon the next day - Sunday, May 12, 2013. Mother's Day. That night, she was wheeled into an operating room, where surgeons retrieved the Ottawa teen's heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys and corneas in what her parents call Rowan's final act of kindness.
Life-saving transplants have been in the headlines recently: from the liver transplants for twin Vietnamese toddlers to Ottawa Senators' owner Eugene Melnyk's public plea for a live liver donation.
Less often told is the other side - the story of the donors' families who agree to give life, as they grieve their own unimaginable loss. Continue reading