McKenna Mikel was 8 years old when her 16-year-old sister was killed in a car accident and became an organ donor in August 2004.
Explaining what organ donation is to a child can be a difficult task. There are many words and concepts that are hard for a child to understand. The idea of saving someone’s life with an organ is not an easy concept to grasp for a child. I was able to understand that other people would be getting my sister’s organs, but I did not understand why my sister could not be alive, too. After many discussions of what organ donation meant, I was able to comprehend the importance of being an organ and tissue donor.
When it comes to addressing organ donation with children, what really helped me was explaining all the good that comes from organ donation – that people would be able to continue living their life and that families would not have to be heartbroken by the loss of their loved one. Knowing that people would be saved because of the organs they were going to receive was one of the best ways of helping me understand what organ donation is and all the good organ donation does.
Knowing all of the good that organ donation does also helped me heal and grieve, even at such at young age. Knowing that another family had a chance to have more time with their loved one was the best way for me to find comfort in my family’s loss. To know those other families would not have to go through the pain and suffering my family went through helped to ease that pain. Organ and tissue donation does numerous wonderful things to give many people a second chance at life, giving me a second chance at happiness.
- Easter Donor Family Blog – Mark Mikel
- A Time for Remembering and Celebrating the Gift of Life