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One of the best things any person can do is register as an organ donor. An estimated 114,000 people in the United States are waiting on the transplant list for a life-saving organ, and 20 people die every day from a lack of availability.
By becoming a donor you can ensure that even when you die you’ll still be making a big difference in the lives of others. That was the case for one mother, who died tragically too soon but saved multiple lives thanks to her final gift.
Kathleen Thorson, from Medford, Oregon, was the mother of four children. The youngest was just born on December 29: she and her husband Jesse welcomed a boy named Teddy.
But just days after that miracle, tragedy struck. While she had always seemed healthy, she suddenly suffered from an intracerebral hemorrhage and died days later. She was only 34.
The shocking loss devastated her husband. The two had been dating since high school and got married in 2006.
“We never spent a minute apart,” Jesse told Good Morning America. “We had 14 years and used every minute of it … there are no regrets of how we spent the time, just about the amount of time we had.”
But as the family mourns, they have found one silver lining: Kathleen was an organ donor, and 12 of her organs will be used in life-saving surgeries.
“As we get to know more about that process … recipients who receive [Kathleen’s] organs, it’s something that will be continually lifting us,” Jesse said.
He says that his wife was a very loving, caring woman. It seems only fitting that she should continue to help people after she’s gone.
“I don’t know if she ever met someone she couldn’t find a way to love and care about,” Jesse told GMA. “Her heart was wide open. Her heart and her kindness and her willingness to love.
And while their four children have lost their mother, they’ll always know she died a hero.
“I’m glad my kids will know their mom for doing that,” Jesse said. “My 7-year-old told his first grade class that his mom has ‘helped people.’”
It’s always heartbreaking to lose a loved one, especially so young. But at least they can take solace in knowing she saved lives.
It’s a good reminder of why you should consider becoming an organ donor! Share this important story!