Letter after Tx

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Letter after Tx

Postby Andy » Mon May 03, 2004 5:52 pm

I recieved a transplant in Dec 2003 and I still have not written a letter, i want to but i dont know what to write and I'm not sure if the timing is right, or if it may affect the persons family in a way that I dont want to. I was thinking either leaving it until Christmas this year ( a year on), or maybe after I have done my exams, or even in a few years, after I have gone to university.
Im so confused!!!
If any one has any suggestions or ideas, let me know.
x x x
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Postby JMan » Mon May 03, 2004 6:05 pm

Contact the transplant co-ordinator for help.. Sometimes they have a 'sample' letter that you can modify..


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Postby Hal » Mon May 03, 2004 6:13 pm

Hey Andy,

If your not sure your ready, then don't rush into it - do it when and if it feels right.

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Andy decisions decisions??

Postby Elaine » Mon May 03, 2004 7:29 pm

Hiya Andy :lol: must be hard decision to make about writing to donors' family post your transplant. Only you can make that decision but may be useful to know that im sure transplant co-ordinators may be able to guide you and offer advise and support. Im sure it must be very comforting to the family to recieve a letter from you knowing that their loved one has brought health and happiness to you. :wink:

I know you have a busy time ahead at moment with your exams etc at the moment. :roll: and wish you every good luck and success Andy ;)

speak to you soon Andy ((((((((HUGZ))))))))))) Elaine :D
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Postby amanda in CA » Tue May 04, 2004 10:16 pm

Hi, I wrote a letter soon after my transplant to my donor family. I can't remember exactly what I put, but I know that it said how sorry I was about their loss and how they were in my thoughts. I also told them about my aspirations and how the transplant had made those possible. I received a letter from them and it spoke of how my letter had given them a lot of comfort. Mine was to have a baby, and several years later when I did, I wrote a further letter which was forwarded to them. I enclosed my address with the covering letter and said that I was happy for it to be released to the family. In due course I received a letter back and have been in touch with them ever since, visiting them when I last visited the UK. We had a great time and I plan to pay them a visit next time I am in the UK. Amanda
amanda in CA
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Hi Andy! ~long~

Postby Rachel in NY » Thu May 06, 2004 12:56 am

I know exactly what you're saying. I'm kinda thinking along the same lines myself. I was told that I can write something, and the transplant coordinator can pass it on. Or, I can have the tx coordinator pass on my info - and if they would want to open the lines of communication, they will contact me.

My 1st tx anniversary is May 18... and now that everything is settled, I really DO want to be in touch with them. I do not know anything at this point. I don't knwo if my person was male/female - child/adult, etc.

I know that whatever the answer would be, it would be difficult to deal with. But I also want the family to know how the organ of their loved one gave me my life back. As hard as it is for them to hear from me, it will comfort them too.

So this is a very tough situation - for both sides. Its both rewarding, and difficult.

I've asked around for suggestions on how to deal with this. The overall consensus was that the donor family DOES want to hear about the recipient (us). How much they want to know is up to them.

I was thinking along the lines of a 3/4 to a full page letter. Basically saying who I am, the kidney failure, dialysis, and then the tx. Without any details. Then a bit about my life now. To finish the letter I'd thank them, and ask if they'd like to be in touch.

Whatever answer (if I get one) I get, I'll go from there. I don't want to do it on my tx anniversary, bc even though it seems fitting to me, it may be too hard for them - being that that's the same day as the DEATH of their loved one. But I would like to send the letter about a month after my anniversary. At that pont - a year has come and gone, and to a certain extent they are more "over it".

Honestly, I thought about contacting them many times before, but then decided to back out of it. I've already written 2 letters, but just tore 'em up. But now, I feel that I AM ready, and will do something in June.

In your case, you got it in December. So really now would be a good time if you feel ready for it. Any time is a good time. Except in my opinion - "december" is NOT a good time, as I said above.

Good luck! And don't feel rushed.. take your time, and do it whenever you feel like you want to :P

Rachel in NY
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Postby Vanessa » Fri May 07, 2004 7:33 pm

HI Andy,

I know how you are feeling. I received my transplant in Jan 01 & I didn't actually write to my donor family until January 04.

I e mailed my transplant coordinator before hand to say that I want to write but that I was not ready. He replied & said to just do it in my own time.

When i finally did write, I said that it was a letter I had always intended to write, but that I didn't have the right words to express my feeling until now.

For me, it took the birth of my twin boys to enable me to find the right words.

Don't rush because you feel you have to, a letter well written at the right time will be much more comfort to the family than a rushed one now.

Take care

Vanessa. UK
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Postby Gil » Sat May 08, 2004 11:28 am

I waited 2 years, and then I asked my transplant coordinator to forward my website url to the donor family.
Since some people don't want to know, I thought that I would leave it to them to decide whether to look at it.
That was last September and I have never heard a word.
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Writing to your donor family

Postby Pam » Sat May 08, 2004 4:14 pm

Just wanted to say by all means write to your donor family! When I was transplanted, they didn't want you to have ANY kind of contact (even an anonymous letter) to your donor family. After 27 years, all contact to mine has been lost. I have tried in the past to get in touch with them but to no avail. I DO know it was a 20-something man who was killed in a motorcycle accident, but I have always felt a sort of empty space because I wanted his family to know how thankful I am for their loved one giving me a gift of life. I also wanted to let them know that that gift was not wasted and that I have had a very full life because someone was generous enough to put aside their own grief for a moment and make that very hard decision.
If you are having trouble expressing your gratitude in words, ask your transplant co-ordinator for help. I think JMan is correct-they should have a form letter that might help you get started and do what Rachel suggested-tell them about your life and how the transplant has changed it. I know if I were part of a donor family, I would want to know about the recipient and how they were doing!
Take care of yourself! :wink:
God Bless!
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