My brother passed away almost two months ago. May 3rd to be exact. I have written a little bit about my hardship that myself and my family are facing right now, but not into too much detail.
It was a Tuesday afternoon and I was meeting my father, sister, niece, nephews and grandmother at Dennys for our weekly dinner. Now, yes I know that Dennys is not the fanciest of restaurants by any means, but it is in the same parking lot as the rehabilitation center is for my grandmother so we can just wheel her right over and she gets a yummy meal and spends time out of the rehabilitation center. (My grandmother is 88 years old and has been in the hospital since February)
My phone rang and I saw that is was my dad calling and I assumed that he was calling to tell me that they were walking over with grandma, but it wasn't that type of phone call at all. He was calling me to tell me that my 39 year old brother was in some sort of accident. I immediately hung up and rushed to my parents house to meet my sister so we could drive together to the hospital. My brother was always getting into some sort of accidents...he was prone to getting hurt even at his age...he had cracked his head open, broken his bones, was in a car accident that had his nose on the side of his face...he was accident prone and he always made it out fine and well...not this time...when we arrived at the hospital the doctors said that he was unconcious and that he suffered a major fall...we were so confused and at a loss for words...he was this hurt by a fall un his bathroom...this just didn't make sense to us. As I stood there listening my heart was breaking. I have always thought that I knew what heartbreak was, but I didn't until a few days later (more on this in a bit) I stood next to my brother as he was thrashing around int he hospital bed and I was talking to him praying that he would hear me and come out of whatever was happening to him. I had a special place in my heart for my brother...I helped him through some rough times in his life, he moved in with me for a while and we shared a connection that many people didn't understand and wouldn't understand. As we sat in the waiting room for the next three days we listened to what the doctors were saying and it still didn't make sense to us. How could a fall hurt someone so bad. Finally the doctors came in and explained to us that they were going to have to go and administer brain surgery on our Jason. They would remove a portion of his skull, place it in his abdomen and this would help release some of the pressure that was happening in his brain. This was what we had been waiting for...this was going to work... the surgery went as planned and he made it out alive and safe, but it didn't work. The swelling was so severe that his brain was swelling outside of his skull now. All of his hair was shaved off. (Jason had the most gorgeous head of hair. My mom hated it because it was always in his face, but he had the most amazingly curly hair that people would die for. It was longer and shaggy and just beautiful) They saved it for us. The doctors did everything they could and on May 3rd at 12:55 God took Jason home. This is where the heartbreak comes in. Now let me tell you the news that my brother passed was and still is unbearable...the hardest thing I have had to face in my life this far...but the heartbreak doesn't just come from that. See my brother was a complete organ donor. We never knew this, but it truly made sense after we found out. We followed what he had wished...Now I am not sure anyone understand the process of an organ donor, but it is intense and trying on a family. My brother passed on May 3rd, but it wasn't until the 6th that his body was removed from the ICE room that he had been staying in. We sat with my brother for three days until he was taken from us. We sat in a room with my brother and watched every part of his body work, minus his brain and we watched him twitch and react to our touch, but he would never open his eyes...we watched him breath on his own for a few days and we watched him move his legs, that was so difficult and hard to understand...how do you wrap your head around what is happening? It is simply not possible...As the nurses and One Legacy (the donor organization) prepped my brother for surgery we prayed over him, held him, talked to him, touched him, and cried over him as we waited...the hardest part was that we stood there knowing he was never coming back to us...As a family we walked with him and the nurses all the way down the hall until we were not permitted to walk anymore holding onto our Jason and giving him the last kiss we could. When I speak of heartache this is when it happens...I have never known heartache like this...I never knew this type of heartache even existed. I wheeled my brother to surgery knowing he was never coming back to us. As we stood there watching him be wheeled away and telling him how much we loved him, life has never been the same.
I write this today because we received a letter from One Legacy telling us about the organs and tissue and everything that was used to help give life to others. My brother has helped over one dozen people with his selfless choice to be an organ donor. He has helped people live again old and young. I am truly proud of my older brother and I love him with all of the love I have to give.
One Legacy is an amazing organization that has treated my brother and my entire family with such dignity and respect. From the second we met with them up until this afternoon when we received the letter. We have received a certificate in honor of my brother, a thank you note from the recipient of my brother's liver, keep sake boxes, and so much more. Each day it is hard and I know that our lives will never be the same, but we will honor Jason's life daily and he is living on in so many other people. He has given the gift of life and that is remarkable.