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Denise- Donor Mom

In December 1998, my 18-yr-old stepson, Chad, approached his father and me about becoming a donor. He had just heard the story of a couple of brothers from Cincinnati who had both recently died in an auto accident. Their parents followed the boys’ wishes and donated anything possible following their accident.
Chad said he wanted us to know his wishes in the event of his death and that he was signing his license to show his desire to be a donor in writing. We decided to do the same, and the 3 of us made a pact that night around the dinner table to honor each other’s desire to donate if need be.
Little did we know how soon we would make good on that promise. For a short 2 weeks afterward, Chad succumbed to injuries in a truck accident. He wrecked at the very beginning of the worst snowstorm of that winter season, late on the night of 12/30/98.
Due to the quickly declining weather conditions and the nature of his accident, it took first responders over an hour to get him to the nearest hospital, where Chad was pronounced dead. Given the delay and the extent of his injuries, the transplant team was only able to procure his corneas for potential transplant use. However, knowing my boy gave someone the gift of sight has eased our grief over these last 20 years. Chad was a kind-hearted young man, always willing to help others. I am so honored to say I’m his stepmom and I am very proud that he chose to become a donor and encouraged us to join him.