The following letter was written by the husband of a donor to his wife’s recipient:

Dear Recipient

It is with both sadness and joy that I write you this letter. I am saddened at the loss of my beloved wife nearly four months ago. However, I am filled with great joy knowing that she was able to give a little of herself to ensure a better quality of life in someone else. I write this through Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, which facilitated the procedures of donation.

Catherine grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and moved to Illinois when we married nearly 44 years ago. She was 70 when she died, just a few months short of her birthday. Catherine served as a nurse for a number of years; however, most of her years were spent at home raising our seven children. Survivors besides me include seven children, one son-in-law, two daughters-in-law, and nine grandchildren.

Catherine was always such a giving person. Her desire to be an organ donor was but one example of her selfless attitude toward life. Even though she had many aches and pains in the years leading to her death, she rarely complained. Her faith and family really shaped her life She spent much of her time in church. In fact, after retiring from her nursing career, she worked at our local church as the housekeeper. She did not do this so much for the money, as for the satisfaction in serving.

Her death was sudden to us. She died of a brain hemorrhage. She died quickly, yet most of our children were able to be at her side when she died. One of our sons, a priest, was able to offer Mass at her side just hours before she would undergo the donation surgery.

Both as a nurse and as a good woman, Catherine would rejoice knowing that she could assist your life. Please know that it has given my family great consolation knowing that this caring and generous woman was able to help you in your need. We hope that at a later date in the future we might be able to meet you.

With assurances of gratitude for taking time to read this letter, I am

Sincerely yours,


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