June 2, 2014

Part 3: My Donor, Our Hero

Five months to the day after I received my new heart, I received yet another blessing. In the mail was a letter from my donor family. Before I even opened the envelope, I was overwhelmed with tears. Amidst their pain, they had reached out to me, and I knew that in a moment I would come to learn about my donor.

The first words I read included her name–a most precious name. It is still difficult for me to even say her name.¬† Her name is so interwoven between my gift and their grief, my strength and their sorrow, a sorrow I will carry with me forever.

They wanted to tell me a little about their daughter. I learned of her very young age, her talents and gifts, and her love for family. They told me about her giving nature and her love for helping. I have read this beautiful letter so often and I will treasure their words forever.

My story now includes this beautiful young girl of 13, and her family who offered me her heart.

My gratitude today encompasses not just a vibrant heart, but includes my donor’s name, her life, and her family. This family gave me the most miraculous gift–the opportunity to live. I now anticipate many added years with my beloved family; cherished moments with friends; renewed energy to accomplish tasks small and large; and the hope to live out my life in thanksgiving.

Judy Bode

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