My husband, Gary Gentry, had a massive heart attack on July 10, 1992 and I am so thankful that we had previously discussed organ donation. Because I knew his wishes, the decision for him to become a donor was not my choice, but his.
The damage from the heart attack destroyed all of his major organs, but he was still able to donate skin, bone, tissue and vein. Through his donation he enhanced the lives of fifty people in need. Many people don’t realize that organ donation is not the only way to help others; there is a great need for tissue donation as well.
I encourage everyone to learn more about organ and tissue donation and to talk with your family about your decision. Had I not known Gary’s wishes to save others through donation, I may not have consented to fulfilling his decision.
During Donate Life month, April 2009, I was able to attend the dedication of the Kentucky Donor Memorial on the state Capitol grounds and I was so proud that my husband gave others the “gift of life.”
(Story shared by Gary’s family.)