Susan Burns, Donor Family

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Now we truly appreciate the gift of organ donation...

In 2003, at the age of 26, my daughter became ill with ecoli from eating contaminated food. She was very ill, spending 3 weeks in ICU, 2 more weeks in the hospital, and then almost 4 months receiving daily hospital treatment due to the devastating side effects of her illness. She finally stabilized and then spent 3 years on dialysis before she was deemed stable enough to receive a transplant. Her older brother, my son, was happy to donate one of his kidneys to her, and so he did as he was a good match for her. Since that time, 10 years ago, my daughter has returned to a normal active life. She has had some challenges with the side effects of the anti-rejection medicines, but feels they are a small price to pay for the life she has. My son recovered quickly from his donation surgery and has not had any problems. As a family, this experience has taught us to never take life for granted, and we treasure the time we have together. Life is a gift, and our priorities have gone from just going through life to stopping and appreciating what we have, and really being present when we are together. My daughter and I were on the list to donate organs long before she became ill, and we continue to stay on the list, as now we truly appreciate the gift of organ donation.

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