Anna and Connie Gorman
“My dad was always giving, and so was my husband, Adam. We wanted their legacies to carry on.”
— Anna Gorman
Anna Gorman has been a registered organ donor since she obtained her first driver’s license in 1996. Her mom, Connie Gorman, knew about organ and tissue donation from working in the medical field for 35 years. Today, both women are grateful for how a basic understanding of the life-altering impact of donation helped them cope with firsthand experiences losing loved ones.
Anna’s husband, Adam, was just 39 years old when he died unexpectedly in 2017. The couple had been married for six years.
“Adam decided to be an organ donor the year he passed away, and he made sure I knew that he was registered,” recalls Anna.
That conversation, along with what she knew about Adam and his giving spirit, made it easier for her to agree to tissue donation. Adam was able to donate skin, bones and both corneas, which Anna later learned had restored sight for two people in Egypt.
Connie’s husband, Larry, had also expressed a desire to donate but thought he was too old. Taking advice from his wife and daughter, Larry Gorman agreed to let the medical professionals determine if he could donate. When he died in February of this year, Connie and Anna gave permission for tissue donation.
“We wanted to remember Larry as continuing to live on,” Connie says.
For Anna, the desire to advocate for organ and tissue donation also endures. After receiving emails and information from Indiana Donor Network for more than a year, Anna filled out a questionnaire that included some suggestions for outreach to donor families. Soon after, she received a call from Indiana Donor Network inviting her to become a member of the organization’s Donor Family Council.
“It feels like a family, and being on the council has definitely helped with my grief process,” Anna says. “They understand what I’m going through.”
Although she’s finishing her term on the council this year, Anna plans to stay involved with Indiana Donor Network, helping to make sure people understand the benefits of donation.
“Organ donation is such a good way to honor a loved one’s life,” she said. “I’m able to tell people that my husband and my dad helped people live a better life. It’s truly amazing how life-changing donation can be.”