My name is Andrew Patrick. For close to eleven years I have worked with the Alabama Organ Center as a Hospital/Community Liaison. The date was January 8, 1984.
This was the watershed moment of my life when my father, aged 47, was pronounced brain dead resulting from a CVA involving an initial left vertebral artery occlusion that eventually involved the basilar artery, thus the terminal prognosis provided to our family by my dad’s attending physician. Our family was very close.
My father was a wonderful person who truly provided our family with a nurturing and loving environment. My mother’s decision for dad to become a kidney and eye donor allowed for some degree of healing during the difficult grieving period. Although there are moments when I miss my father’s strong presence, it is always comforting to know that his being an organ and eye donor have allowed for a most positive experience for the last thirty-four years since his death. I always preface my presentation remarks to share this donation experience with others, whether it concerns medical or general public audiences. Considering that my father also had a full autopsy, sharing dad’s donation hopefully serves to alleviate fears some may have about open casket funerals being available following organ and tissue donation.