What I didn’t mention about Private Practice …

What I didn’t mention about Private Practice … is how wonderful it is to see a sitcom spread the word on how important organ donation is.  A mother losing her child is devastating.  A child dying is unthinkable. Being an organ donor is amazing!

I firmly believe that Doug and I were able to come to the agreements we did because we discussed our wishes ahead of time.  It might sound morbid but when we were newly married it came up in conversation once.  We talked about our wishes should we leave this world.  We both said we wanted to be organ donors.  Doug felt strongly about being cremated.  I was ok with it, although no one in my family has been cremated.  At one point we even discussed that Doug wanted to be a paul bearer should one of our children die.  He didn’t care if it wasn’t the “norm” no one would carry our son but him.  At the time we had NO idea one of our children were going to die.  It was all hypothetical.

Amelia (from Private Practice) sort of did the same thing.  She thought out what she wanted to do ahead of time.  So in her moment of grief and not wanting to live the moment, she had the plan to fall back on.  It’s the very moment when you think you just can’t handle anymore.  When you want to run away from the hospital, from the pain.  You don’t have to think – you just have to follow your plan.

On May 21, 2011, when approached by Dr Miller in the waiting room at Children’s, he asked if we would be willing to enroll Owen in a medical study.  It only took a look between Doug and I to know that we would say yes.  We called him back no more than 10 minutes later.  I remember how surprised he was to see us agreed and strong in our decision so quickly.  But it’s because we already had a plan should this happen.  We both believe in medicine and in that knowledge is power.  We both believe that medicine can save lives.  That doctors are someone we can trust.  I also believe that it’s also with the power of the Holy Spirit that all of the comes together.

So, not to sound totally creepy or weird but have you thought about what you would want if something happened to you or your child?  It might worth the pain to think it through now … because in the moment there will be so much more pain to sort through.  Don’t leave something like this to the last minute.  If anything, while you watch shows like this week’s Private Practice, think about what you would do.  I hope that you would say you’d like to save the lives of many. I hope you would want to find some kind of ‘unicorn magic’ in the face of evil and death.

I can say, first hand, that it’s worth it.  And I’m not the donor recipient who is saying thank you.  I’m the mother that handed her child over to a transplant team of doctors and let them cut him open while he was still breathing on a ventilator.  I can say with 100% certainty that I would donate Owen’s organs again!  In fact, I wish we could have given more.  My son isn’t really gone … he’s spread across two states.  He lives on in others – literally.  I have the honor to say that my son is a warrior.  He saved lives.  It’s no different from the proud military mom who can say that her son or daughter fights for our country.  Be an organ donor.  Be proud to be an organ donor!

Love, Mel

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  1. I’m pretty sure I was already an organ donor in WI and I’m not sure anyone would want my organs since they’re not the greatest, but registered anyhow!

  2. I am a donor too, helping others as always been a passion for me. I am hoping once everything comes to plans, I will be volunteering at our Children’s Hospital this fall. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and your love. You have inspired thousands.

  3. After reading your blog today hubby and I had a conversation, its not one that took long as we were already on the same page but it was something we hadn’t not done and this just prompted me to start it. We are already organ donors and yes if something happened to anyone of our children and we had the opportunity to help save other children we would agree to it, Your experience and story is an inspiration to so many as is the legacy of OWEN so many people touched around the world by such a tiny person. What greater gift and how proud you should be.

  4. I watched this episode alone and cried. I cried trying to imagine what that must have been like for the character on the show and but more powerful than that was knowing about your story and what you’ve been through with the loss of Owen. I can’t even begin to imagine what you must have gone through and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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