Guillermo (Memo) Corral Jr., Donor
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Each of us can make a difference...
I still recall the summer day when my brother Memo renewed his driver’s license. He had just turned 18 years old and decided to be a donor. He was so happy about his decision that he came home and shared his news with all of us. Organ donation was new to my parents, immigrants from Mexico, and all of us kids, aged 17, 16, 15 and 13. But he convinced me that this was important and when I turned 18, I too became an organ donor. Then at the young age of 37, my brother died suddenly from a dissecting aorta. The doctors said it was unusual for this to happen in someone so young. The hospital staff did not know he was a donor, so it took about an hour before I was able to share that Memo wished to be an organ donor and they contacted the donor bank. In November 1995, my brother donated his heart valves, his eyes and other tissues.
About a year later, the recipients tried to reach out to my mother to thank her, but she was not ready. Now it brings her great comfort to know that there are people living life to the fullest because her son was an organ and tissue donor. We also have a cousin in Chihuahua, Mexico, that performs transplant surgeries and has done much to educate the community of the importance of organ donation. I am honored to have been able to help Memo’s wishes be carried out. Each one of us can make a difference. As they say in Spanish, “yes we can” or “Si se Puede!”
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