'Our son now lives in seven other people; a sense of continuation, not closure'

Drew (right) with his parents Kenneth and Sharon, sister Bobbie (right)

INDEPENDENT |. Helena Grech

As the sun rose on an otherwise ordinary summer's day last June, the beautiful soul of 20 year old Drew Abela departed from his body and soared above the mundane and the ordinary, to enter the realm of kings and legends. Kenneth and Sharon’s worst fears, the unexpected death of a son, had just materialized. It was during this difficult moment that they were reminded of - immediately acknowledged - their son’s altruistic and selfless character. Some time before his death, they had discussed as a family the idea of organ donation. And now it was time to do it.

Drew’s gentle and kind character now lives on in seven ‘strangers’, who would now be able to get a glimpse, a touch, a heartbeat even, of Drew’s nature, and be lucky enough to feel his wittiness, kindness, patience, good nature and generosity. They would also be able to get a glimpse of his altruism and love for others in any shape or form, and above all faith in God, the way that his parents and loving sister Bobbie, family and friends, have been lucky enough to touch and feel in his short yet beautiful and meaningful life.

In this interview with Helena Grech, Kenneth and Sharon give an account of their experience and encourage others to follow suit.

1. How did you come to the decision to donate your son’s organs? Were you approached by a medical professional or did you decide on your own?

Sharon: “I literally screamed out the decision as soon as the doctors indicated that there was no hope for him. I think that, at that moment, donating his organs gave me a feeling of the possibility of continuity. In addition, I felt this overwhelming feeling of 'I will not let anything worth saving of my son's life go to waste'.

Kenneth: "I immediately agreed with Sharon’s idea, especially since we had been aware that Drew had wanted to do this. Continue reading
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