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Jessica Smither – Donor Wife

Being an organ donor had been discussed in our house in passing, but nothing formal had been done by either my husband or myself.  Both of us wanted and planned to be organ donors when we were old and probably not good candidates!  So, when my husband passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 33, I was faced with a life changing decision.

Life changing for me, because I knew that with my signature, my husband would help another carry on living.  At the same time, life changing because the loss of my husband was going to save the life of another person and help heal a family.  When I was approached in the hospital about being a donor I never hesitated!  This was no doubt the easiest decision I had to make on that horrible night. To this day, almost 18 months later, I still feel that it is one of my greatest gifts to the world.

My husband was able to help a remarkable number of people by one simple decision on his part, and one signature on my part.  I have since met with one of the recipients, another man who was 33 at the time.  We speak daily and our lives will forever be intertwined.  He’s the only recipient I’ve heard from, and that’s ok. I have come to the conclusion that if I only receive one thank you, it is enough.  To experience him breathing and improving because of the organs that my husband no longer needed, but wished to pass on, is unbelievable.  My pain and sadness at my loss was lessened because I knew that several other families wouldn’t have to say their good-byes too soon.

One month after my husband helped so many, my license was up for renewal and with tears in my eyes, I donated my dollar and made sure I was registered as an organ donor.  I carry it with pride in knowing that I will one day be able to do my part in another way–it will be a full circle moment.  Take the moment to sign up online or in person when you renew your license.  Life is unpredictable, and we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow to get it done.