On February 20, 2007, two Tennessee men were desperate, suffering, fighting for their lives, and needing a miracle – a miracle in the form of a life-saving organ transplant. One needed a liver, and the other a heart. One would lose his battle, but in the process, he would save the life of the other. Medical records will show that the one man died that night, but I will assert that, in a way, he did not – he lives on through the gift of his heart to me.
|Kent, my donor|
Today makes 10 years since I received the call that a heart was available for transplant for me. Tomorrow will be the actual 10 year anniversary of my transplant. The last 10 years have rushed by fast. I am thankful for each day. Those days would not have been possible without my heart donor, Kent. I do not take a day for granted. Without him, my wife and I would not have celebrated our 20th anniversary. We would not have been to Hawaii together. I wouldn’t have shot my 1st, or 2nd, trophy buck. I wouldn’t have ever harvested my 1st turkey, or seen my nephews grow into teenagers. I am grateful for all of those memories and many others. None of them possible without Kent.
Today’s a Music Monday, and I had a tough time coming up with a song for today. Then, I remembered one of Skillet‘s more recent releases – “Not Gonna Die”. The song was released on the band’s 2013 record titled Rise. From what I understand, the song is actually about not letting sin overtake and consume you. However, to me today it has another meaning.
The video and the lyrics are a little dark, but when I think about what both Kent and I were going through 10 years ago today, the struggle, the emotions, the feeling of helplessness – they are the perfect artistic rendering of what we were experiencing.
Neither of us wanted to die that night – and, in a way, neither of us did. We’re walking this earth together. Kent also saved others that night 10 years ago by donating other organs. He improved the lives of many others, too, through tissue donation. He left a legacy of life and giving to others. So, he lives on not just in me, but in many others, too. He is a hero to many of us and our families.
Thanks again, Kent.
The video is embedded below or can be watched by clicking here.
If you are not presently registered as an organ and tissue donor, you can learn more, and even learn how to register in the state where you live, by clicking here.