I wanted to write you to share some thoughts about our meeting last Tuesday. Though it was short in the physical sense it was indefinitely long for those brief minutes.
I’m sure it was not easy for you to watch us struggling to make a decision. At one point during the last few years Danny once said he didn’t think he’d make it past 30. So, I know it was very hard for him to give up what he might have thought was a “last chance”. You did, however, make me more hopeful telling us there was a good match a few months ago even though the donor was too old. I constantly struggle with what my heart feels and my mind thinks. And I MUST be positive for my family’s sake. Danny also has told me he thinks he “has it much better than most of his friends”. To have a second, albeit third chance for life is almost unimaginable in his words, seeing other patients with other diseases having no chance at all.
I’m sure you know it is much easier for this kind of decision to be made for the patient. But, so few of life’s important decisions are black and white. After you stepped out of the room Danny asked me what he should do. As his mom I so wanted to tell him what I would do. But, I have realized you don’t really know what you would do in a specific situation unless you are actually in it. And even then you may not think clearly. So I held his hand told him it was up to him. Fortunately his dad said what we all knew to be the answer, what Danny wanted to say but couldn’t at the moment. I guess that’s the difference between mother’s and father’s.
We finally realized that someone else will benefit from the “perfect match” that was almost perfect for Danny. We cannot with good conscience possibly shorten the life of the gift given in love.
Driving down to Emory I did not know whether to celebrate or cry for I know the joy and pain of both sides. Those feelings remained unspoken in all of us. Wendy did remind me that we were giving the other family the opportunity to help someone else. Something we were not given. That did make me feel better, and still does. But it doesn’t stop their pain. Donor families are awesome.
I assume you were hoping Danny would make the best decision since there was no right or wrong one. He asked you what you would do because he values your opinion very much and I do too. The gift you have been given to restore life is amazing. Thank you for sharing it with the world.
On the way out of the hospital room Danny said “On the bright side, I get to watch the All Star game”. And his team won!
Today Danny is back to what I call “normal” - going to a concert with friends, playing with his nephew, watching TV, and hanging with his girl friend. I think he is awesome, wise beyond his years and he is my hero.
In anticipation of “the perfect match”, thank you, Dr Vega, for using your gift to ease the pain of one while creating joy for another. You, too, are my hero.