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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Seeing a family donate a child's organs will stay with me forever

The Guardian | An Annonymous Doctor 
‘As one life ended, others, those of the organ recipients, were about to begin.’ Photograph: Frances Roberts/Alamy

The intensive care ward was dark, lights dimmed for the night shift, and silent except for the occasional beep from a monitor and the hum of ventilators. Staff were barely speaking and exuded a sense of calm but also sorrow. Everyone knew the night was to be full of sadness as a family prepared to say goodbye to a much-loved child.

From one side room came sweet harmonies that began to ring around the ward, reducing each nurse and doctor to tears, one by one. The room was full of family members surrounded by pictures and memorabilia of an inspirational child whose life had been snatched away in an instant. The family held hands and sang, keeping one another strong. Despite their differences, they displayed admirable solidarity during such a testing time. Out of this sadness and despair, however, there was to come joy for several other families. This family had decided that their child would become an organ donor.

As the time came for the family to say their final goodbyes, staff stepped out of the room and were united in sorrow and grief for the loss of a young life and bearing witness to the family’s pain. The boy’s father held him tightly, waiting until he had taken his last breath while staff on the night shift could do nothing but look on. Then, soon after, the boy was handed into the care of nurses as he made his final journey to theatre to enable him to give his gift to the strangers he would never meet. He was looked after with care and compassion just as when he was alive. Continue reading
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