It’s a cruel twist of fate. In order for your baby to get the organ he needs to survive, another couple’s child has to die. It will send one family to the giddy heights of pure joy, but another family to the deepest depths of despair.
Knowing how hard it must be for the parents of a tiny organ donor, mother-of-four Mindy Seay has written an open letter hoping it will one day be read by the mother of the baby who saved her youngest son’s life.
Mindy and Rob Seay’s little Lincoln, seven months, was born with a severe heart defect called heterotaxy and desperately needed a new heart to survive.
On February 18 the news came through that Lincoln and his family and been patiently waiting for. Lincoln had a donor.
But while ecstatic, Mindy knew that another baby had died, leaving behind a heartbroken family.
Mindy wrote the letter to the mother of her son’s heart donor and published it to her blog days before she even knew if her baby boy would get one.
“It was an idea that had been brewing in my mind since he was put on the donor list,” she says on the crowdfunding page Baby Lincoln’s Journey.
“There’s nothing I want more than for my son to live, but I hate that another child has to pass for that to happen.
“I want you to know that I will always have the utmost respect for the gift we will be given. I will treasure that heart more than I’ve ever treasured any gift,” Mindy writes.
“We may never now you by name, but I will know you deep in my soul.”
Mind’s message is bittersweet: “Without you making the most difficult decision a mother could ever make, my son would not be able to live. He is in end stage heart failure and doesn’t have much time left”.
“Your child and mine will be forever entertwined (sic) as the heart that grew in your womb now pumps the blood through the body of the child created in mine,” Mindi says.
“They have merged in a way, and your child will forever live on in mine.
“When my child bleeds, I will think of you. When I bandage his scraped knee, I will think of you. When I hear his heart beat, I will remember you. When his eyes flutter closed as he falls asleep, I will remember your beautiful child.
“I will say prayers of gratitude and blessings over your family, often. I will treasure the gift you’ve given. I promise.”
Lincoln had his heart surgery on February 19 and has just been discharged from hospital. The Seay family, from Anchorage in Alaska, need to remain in Seattle for a few more months for Lincoln’s biopsies.
“We are so excited for this next big step!” Mindi says.
Although tinged with sadness, organ donation has provided some miracles for many families.
It was because of her decision to donate her baby boy’s heart after his tragic death that Heather Clark could hear it beating again – this time inside the chest of a beautiful four-year-old girl.
(images via Facebook)