"My mother saved three lives."

February 26, 2017 • Author: Haleigh Mann

On January 7, 2013, my life changed forever. The nurse came into the waiting room and said, “The doctor would like to see you now.” I already knew what he was going to tell us, but I tried to convince myself that maybe there was still hope. The doctor began explaining what a coma was and then told us that our mother was not in a coma; she was brain dead. She suffered a heart attack and brain aneurysm the night before that left her brain bleeding in three different spots. There was nothing more that the hospital staff could do. She was gone.

In the midst of the rollercoaster of emotions I was experiencing, I gained some peace thanks to two genuine people who helped my brother and I with the process to donate our mother’s organs. Two staff members from Indiana Donor Network answered all the questions that we had and they walked us through the steps of the donation process. They were also very patient and understanding during our time of grief. My brother and I still keep in contact with them because they want to stay updated on our unique story. My mother saved three lives by donating her liver and both of her kidneys to two different people.

Ever since my mom past away, I have been directly involved in organ donation.  I feel as though my personal goals have changed. I used to make personal goals that mostly revolved around myself, but now I try and make goals that will positively impact those around me as well. I have experienced firsthand how short life can be, and I don’t want to waste a minute of it. It is my goal to live each day as though it’s my last and to make a change in world. Some might say that is cliché goal, but it is what I strive for.

One step I take to help fulfill those goals is to share my story. There are many scary myths that are associated with organ donation that deter people from registering as a donor. This is why I think it is important for people to hear authentic stories. By sharing my inspiring, unique story, I have the opportunity to tell the world of my mother’s gift. I have experienced no greater feeling than when somebody tells me they decided to become a donor after hearing my story. I hope to become more actively involved in promoting awareness; therefore, I can convince more people to save lives.