Sarah Root's family meets Dan Griffin and his wife Peggy. Dan received Sarah's heart after she was killed in a car crash (NTV News)
Dan Griffin of Elba has come to understand the uneasy gift he’s been given.
“It's a blessing to give and if you don't accept that gift, it's almost not giving that person that blessing. Depriving them of that,” he told Scott Root, whose daughter Sarah donated her heart.
Dan wants to honor the family, and Sarah’s mom Michelle finds healing in it.
“To me, it's a comfort feeling, knowing Sarah was able to save so many, and live on through so many,” Michelle said.
Sarah donated much more than her heart.
Kara Cordell, marketing manager for Nebraska Organ Recovery said, “A lot of people don't know the impact one person can have through donation. Sarah saved six lives through organs, and will also go on to impact possibly hundreds of lives through bone, tissue, tendon, veins, things like that. One organ donor has the potential to save up to eight lives.”
Nebraska Organ Recovery says donation is rare; Few deaths meet the criteria, and the first thing is registering, something Sarah did when she was 16.
Cordell said, “Her parents knew that's what she wanted and they were able to honor that decision and honestly I think it made that time easier because they knew that's what we would have wanted, it's really important to communicate those decisions with loved ones.”
The need is great.
“Right now in the United States there's over 114,000 people that are waiting for a transplant. That's not a nice to have, that's a need to have in order to continue living. We can't keep up with the need right now,” Cordell explained.
Celebrating birthdays brings joy to those who work with organ donation.
“It's just the best part of our job,” Cordell said, as the Root and Griffin families met for the first time in Elba.
Michelle Root says donors like her daughter are heroes.
“To award somebody extra time on earth from being selfless is amazing,” she said.
As for Dan, he encourages everyone to register. You can do it at the DMV but also online at nedonation.org.
Organ donation misconcept