Kay Shaw: How to continue giving after we’re gone

May 2, 2019

I was pleased to see your article on organ donation recently, as I believe it helps people understand the importance of this program. My story is not as dramatic, or sad, as that of the Rushford family, but it may help to illustrate the many ways a person can be a donor.

My husband, Stewart Shaw, was 80 when he died of a stroke in August 2015. I knew he wanted to be a donor, and I agreed with his wishes, as I have indicated I want to be one also. Because of his age, he could only donate bone and soft tissue. The donor center asked if I would like to know the recipients of his gift, and I said I would. Almost three years later I received a lovely letter with the information. It said at least 48 people had received part of his gift, and this is one example of the 48 they listed: “11-year-old female in CT received the gift of bone for a lumbar fusion.” She was the youngest; the oldest was 81. The locations ranged from Connecticut to California. I was overwhelmed by how many people benefited from his gift, and by thinking about how my loving and generous husband would be pleased to know of this.

Being a donor is a wonderful way to continue giving when we are gone.

Kay Shaw, Winona