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Family Care During Organ Donation
For many donor families, the decision to donate is the first step in the healing process. Most individuals find comfort in knowing that part of their loved one will live on in someone else and at the same time will save or enhance the lives of others.
The CDT organ procurement coordinator (OPC) is the primary contact during the time of donation. The OPC will remain at the hospital with the patient and their family to ensure that all of the family’s wishes are carried out accordingly. The coordinator serves as support and a resource throughout the donation process. When appropriate, another supportive individual, including professionals from pastoral care, palliative care or a family’s spiritual leader might be invited to assist them in their time of need.
In the weeks after the death, the family of organ and tissue donors will receive a packet in the mail including some information regarding who received their loved one’s organs and how they are doing. The packet also includes literature to aide in the grieving process, a memory box and a medal of honor from the federal government. At the one-year anniversary of their loved one’s death, families will receive a remembrance card from CDT.
Communication Guidelines for Donor Families
Please click here to see detailed information about writing to the recipient(s) of your loved one’s organs.
Events & Activities
CDT hosts events throughout the year to offer an opportunity to families touched by donation to spend time together honoring the gifts of our donors.
The yearly event is an opportunity for the families in our community who’ve experienced donation during the death of a loved one, to come together as a community to remember and grieve together. This two-hour event is usually held on a Sunday in late fall.
Celebration of Life Picnic
Also held yearly, the Celebration of Life picnic is a chance for donor families to come together with recipients and their families for a relaxed day of fun and sharing of memories. At times, CDT will arrange for a donor family to meet a recipient of their loved ones organs at this event, but that is very rare. The event lasts about 4 hours and is usually held on a Sunday early in the summer.
Occasionally other events will be offered for our families, volunteers or community partners. These include:
- Volunteer Recognition Luncheon
- Memorial Quilt Unveiling
Interested families are also invited to join CDT’s volunteer program. Our volunteer group is mostly composed of people directly affected by donation or transplantation. There are a variety of activities you can participate in as a volunteer.