The Letter From My Donor’s Mom

I want to share with you my experience meeting my donor, Samantha’s, family. But first I want to share with you the letter I received from Samantha’s mom & later in the week I will share with you the letter I wrote back to Angela. With Angela’s permission, below is the letter I received on June 30, 2017, 1 year and 9 days after my double lung transplant.

“Dear Recipient:

It is with both sadness and joy that I write you this letter. My daughter, my heart passed away 12 months ago, on June 19, 2016. She was pronounced and went home to be with God. 12 months ago you were given the chance to live again, and for that I am so very proud of my daughter Samantha.

Samantha
A picture of my donor, Samantha, given to me by her mother, Angela.

Samantha grew up in Wilmington, NC. She was 20 years old when she died. She was a bright girl, and loved everyone. She met no stranger, even though I always taught her “stranger danger” LOL, she didn’t listen. She didn’t care if you were rich or poor, in her eyes everyone was the same. In those short 20 years of Samantha’s life she grew up surrounded by friends, family and her beautiful and sweet dog Benelli Rose (now my Grand Dog). Samantha loved the beach and that is where she spent a lot of her free time.

Samantha was a daughter, Granddaughter, sister, friend, and soon to be Aunt to my beautiful Grandson Brayden. She couldn’t wait for him to be born. Samantha was not a shy girl. She knew her faults and she accepted her imperfections. She laughed at herself and took advantage of opportunities to grow every day. She was not perfect and she was the first to admit it.

The day my daughter died a piece of me went with her. I have spent every second, minute and hour thinking of her. I think about how she will never have the chance to marry, or be a mother herself. I wonder how her life would have turned out, would she have been a doctor, veterinarian, teacher, or a stay at home mom. As parents we expect to die before our children, so when you have to bury one of them it’s like your burying yourself. I have somewhat come to grips that it’s time for me to move on, although it will be easier said than done, but I have two other girls, my Grandson and my husband to live for.

Since Samantha’s passing you have crossed my mind a lot. Samantha was always such a giving person, and her desire to be an organ donor was but one example of her selflessness attitude towards life. I guess I have some peace knowing a piece of her still lives on in five people that I hope she was able to save. The thought of my daughter’s heart continuing to pump and her lungs continuing to breathe is so heartwarming to me.

I guess I am going to end with the hope that you will allow me and my family to meet with you. I would like to tell you more about her and how big her heart was. Maybe it’s too much to ask, but I hope you will allow me this last chance to hear her breathe for someone else, for you.

Sincerely yours,

Angela”

6 comments

  1. Such a beautiful, heart wrenching letter. It must have meant so my to your family and you to receive it. I’m sure that your meeting with Angela was very emotional and Iook forward to hearing more about it. ( you looked GREAT on TV, BTW!)

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  2. Jackie I can’t begin to tell you of the joy you have brought to my family. When they first took Samantha off of life support, I prayed like I have never prayed, for her to breathe on her own. It was so very hard not hearing her take that breath, but through you, I was able to hear her breathe again, and yes, as painful as it is to not have her with me, I know a piece of her lives on in you. She does not define who you are, however she is breathing for you.
    My wish is one day to meet the beautiful soul that has my babies heart. I know she is well, and that does give me comfort.
    I remember my last few hours laying beside my baby at the hospital, I had my head on her heart listening to it beat for the last time, I knew I would never get that chance again. My hopes are that the heart recipient will allow me this opportunity, the opportunity to lay my hands on my babies heart and see it pump for her, to tell her how Samantha loved so much with that heart. Maybe one day I will get that chance. That would be my final journey, which is what I need. I am ready to start my new life, a life no parent should have to live, but I am a survivor, there is no pain like the pain of losing a child.
    I will live the rest of my life always remembering the good times and how much I loved her, but it is time for me to try and move on for me and my family.
    Fly high my sweet angel, mommy will love you forever.❤️Ilyabaapaahayn faad ❤️Mommy
    Donate to save somebody else’s child, so they may have a chance at life, and that the parents will not have to experience the loss of someone they love more than life itself. God bless to all🙏🏻

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  3. Thank you for sharing this, Jackie! As you know Teddy and I volunteer with Donate Life and I have shared your journey with many over the last year! Mrs. Justice, I can’t imagine the pain you are going through and the strength you need to show every single day. I hope you have found some peace in meeting, Jackie! With your daughter’s “gift of life” Jackie continues to share her amazing talents and shining personality with others. God Bless!

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  4. What a beautiful letter, thank you so much for sharing it so we can know Samantha through her mother’s words. I remember when we found out there was a donor for you, the instant awareness that someone’s family was going through unspeakable grief, and yet, in the face of that, giving you the gift of life. Not a day goes by we aren’t grateful for Samantha, and I am so glad we now know her name and can see her beautiful picture.
    Mrs Justice, many prayers have gone heavenward for you and for your family, and all of us who love Jackie now love your beautiful girl and the gift she gave.
    Always and forever, thank you.

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