Packet Sea Foam: Organ donation: Real-life heroism

dlauderdale@islandpacket.comNovember 28, 2011 

Thanks to Lynda Bouchard of Hilton Head Island for sharing a story about the gift of life.

"Mile Marker 29"

By Lynda Bouchard

As I walked the beach early one recent morning, most of the people I passed were casting nets and lines for fish. I was there fishing for stories. This one came easily at Mile Marker 29.

I saw my good friend, John Test, walking ahead, his head down and focused on the sandpipers darting along the ocean edge. He collects shells, and so as I passed him I asked if he'd found anything interesting.

"I'm not really looking for shells today," he said. "My uncle passed away last night. He was waiting for an organ transplant."

That stopped me cold in my tracks.

I knew the feeling of helplessness and loss, as I'd lost my husband two years ago, while he, too, was waiting for a transplant.

John Test's uncle lived in Ohio and was a big believer in organ donation and so his family knew he wanted to donate his organs in order to give life to someone else.

When I was a kid, my heroes wore capes, picked up buildings with one arm and flew through the air. They were spectacular and got lots of attention. But now I can honestly say that anyone who gives life and hope to someone by donating his or her organs -- they are my heroes.

The holidays are here and meeting my friend, John, on the beach that day made me think about the great gift of life each of us has the choice to give.

As unlike as we are, one human being from another, we also share much in common. Yet no two threads -- no two lives -- in the vast tapestry of existence will ever intersect so beautifully as through a donor and recipient.

Statistically, the holidays are when organ donations are needed the most.

To become an organ donor, go to your local S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles office, go to or call 877-277-4866.

The Island Packet appreciates all written and photographic submissions from readers. All submissions become the copyrighted property of The Island Packet, which may use them for any purpose, including in print and online, without compensation to the submitter.

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service