I have sent off my letter
to several places: ABC and a few papers. I've read others' responses to the episode, and it seems that those who were already predisposed to think positively about organ donation didn't find the episode particularly negative. Those who think about donation constantly, like the other transplant parents I know, were shocked at how wrong they got the whole setup. And I do fear that for the many people who are even somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of donation, that this episode left open the door for many of the misconceptions surrounding the process. And then I read this post
, and I just cried. Here is a woman who went through so much with her child, and they made the decision to donate his organs. And then here comes this show leaving her feeling awful about her decision. And no wonder. The donor's family was raked over the emotional coals and the doctors were often brusquely dismissive of the donor (not all of them, mind you). I have no idea how any donor family could have watched this episode and felt anything but sadness.
This is the terrible dilemma of being the mother of a transplant recipient. You are so grateful to this stranger and so terribly sorry at the same time. I want to reach out to show them what an enormous, meaningful gift they gave and to somehow, someway ease some of that pain. And yet I know that the heartbreaking beauty of the gift was in giving what they had lost. It's hard to know how to say "thank you" for a gift of that magnitude.