Four years. It seems insignificant when thinking of a life but this one is special. Four years ago tonight Sarah received her gift of life. That same night another family lost someone they loved dearly, just as much as we love Sarah. Our joy at the sight of Sarah growing each day is mingled with the painful realization another child died. We’ve never met the donor family personally and we still hope to have that opportunity sometime in the future. I can’t begin to imagine what their healing process must have been like or how they are still coping, still remembering the loss of a young life with so much potential – a life tragically cut short.
For us this family will always have a special place in our hearts. They decided at some point to share the organs of their beloved child with others, and Sarah was the beneficiary of that child’s liver. The portal vein Dr. Healey was able to harvest from that liver replaced Sarah’s useless one. And the liver itself, what a beauty! To date, Sarah has had no major issues or serious rejections resulting in liver damage. While she’s had her shares of biopsies, that liver has remained strong and up to the task of dealing with an active four-year-old.
Tonight --- and each day --- we will celebrate the 2nd chance Sarah received April 22, 2009. If things had been different and a liver had not come, our lives would be so very different. I can’t begin to imagine my life without her silly laugh; or the times watching her dress up as a little princess and giving us that mischievous smile, as if to say “yes, I really AM this cute!; or seeing how much she loves her brother and sisters and how much they love her in return. The thought of a family of five instead of six is almost too painful to consider.
So, yes, we are grateful that we’ve had these 1400+ additional days with Sarah, all because someone else shared a precious gift amidst the pain of their loss.
“Thank you” will never be enough.