* A handwritten letter*
I broke my ankle 20 years ago this month, and only now have they come up with the technology to repair it permanently. This came through the use of a cadaver tendon. With the discharge paperwork, included was a card with brief information about the donor program and where it encouraged recipients to write a brief note to the family of the donor to let them know of our appreciation of their sacrifice during such a difficult time. The first day that I was lucid, I sat down to write them my note. I do not know their name, but my card included a coded sheet of paper that I could include with my letter so that it could reach the proper people. I am a donor, and I would like to encourage each of you to consider what a blessing it can be for others if you choose to do the same. Here is a copy of the letter that I wrote them after a prayerful desire to express my gratitude and experience to them gracefully.
To my dear family~
I am only just recovering from my surgery that linked me to you forever and I have tried again and again to find the right words to express my gratitude properly, but as the "right" ones escape me, please accept my basic attempt. I cannot imagine the circumstances you have gone through to bring you here, so I will share min. It is one month shy of twenty years ago that I broke my ankle on a trampoline. I ended up with a rather more significant tendon injury which I have gone through surgery to correct unsuccessfully. As a result of this damage, I have lived with an unstable ankle which gives out roughly once every other week. It has caused me to fall down flights of stairs repeated, sometimes holding children, sometimes causing concussions and so forth. I have been scared of having problems during a pregnancy, and I am very careful when taking care of loved ones for fear of it giving out when they depend on my physical strength. Ten years ago, when I first married, there was no real medical solution for me and so I mostly gave up tennis and other sports and learned to adapt my life for the most part. This month, I went in to my doctor and was told of a new procedure which called for a transplant. They tell me that now it will function as it once did thanks to your choice during such a dark time in you lives. There is no way to express my gratitude, so I tried to offer this note and let you know that I am one of 9 children with 18 nieces and nephews thus far, and I shared with them how I was able to be healed and my choice to become a tissue donor as well as an organ donor, and I asked each of them to consider making the same choice. I know that getting a new tendon may seem unimportant to most, but for myself, it will change how I get to live my life. I wish there was more I could say. I will pray for all of you for comfort and thank you for the legacy your loved one left behind.