We all like to think we are invincible and will live to a ripe old age. We like to believe our children will also, but that is not always the case. One moment in time can change everything. This is organ donation week, a week to remind us to have ‘the talk’ and a week to remember those who are missed so badly, but also remembered every day by those who owe them their life.
This month three years ago a small boy was racing into school each day. He was delighting his family with his love of life. No one could have predicted that come October he would be gone. He was six years old.
Ben was his name.
Ben became unwell one night and was rushed to hospital in Cork, Ireland. From there he was transferred to Dublin and flown to the UK. While his parents kept vigil there was talk of a liver transplant. They waited and hoped. Then only a day or so later they were told it was not possible, there was nothing more could be done.
Can you imagine that pain? The shock of seeing your small boy so unwell, the desperate hope that someone else’s tragedy will help save your son and the crushing pain on hearing that transplant is no longer an option. You were going to have to say goodbye to your precious boy? In the midst of that unimaginable distress and pain, Ben’s mum and dad agreed to donate his organs. Ben, aged six years, saved and enhanced the lives of seven others.
Today, and every day I feel like telling the world around me what he did. I can’t do that, but as this week is organ donation awareness week I can. It is a week to remember Ben and those like him who saved so many lives. It is also a week to thank those, like Ben’s mum and dad, who in the moment of greatest pain they could ever experience, thought of others.
None of us know our futures and some day we too may be faced with heartache like Ben’s family. Why not take the time this week to think about organ donation and most importantly tell your family your wishes.
Ben’s family participated in this amazing video written and performed by Pa Curran. It features the families of those who received organs along with the families of those who so selflessly agreed to donate organs. Each family is holding a photo of those they have loved and lost. It will make you cry but it is a very powerful video. It reminds us all, that it could be any one of us giving or receiving.
As you read this I would also ask you all to take a moment to salute young Ben and his family. I know his family will read this and it would be good for them to see your support. As time passes it is easy for them to believe that the rest of us have forgotten Ben. I’d like them to know that is not the case. Young Ben, unintentional hero we salute you.
(Ben is at 2.24 on the video)
21 thoughts on “A week to remember a very special boy.”
So moving. So important. And you are so right that his parents are to be saluted, and comforted in the grief that never ends.
Thank you Mona. Yes for them every day is an effort I’m sure.
What a horrible thing to happen. Unimaginable. When I first heard you speak of Ben, I kept thinking how short life is. Now, every moment with my grandchildren is more precious than it was before. I treasure them more.
Yes it’s dreadful to see a life cut so short and hard to understand it. Unimaginable for those of us looking on. Thank you Corina.
With a pair of newly-turned 6-year-olds in my house I can’t even bear to think about the pain Ben’s parents must have felt and still feel at losing their beautiful boy. They are incredible to have found the strength to think of others through their grief. I always carry my organ donor card in my wallet but thanks for the reminder to discuss it again with my family.
Thanks. It really is impossible for us to imagine the pain or the miracle that is organ donation.
Just heartbreaking, as much this year as last. These posts are hard to read and listen to and comment on, but so important. My heart goes out to Ben’s family. ❤
Thank you. I know Ben’s family read this and it is some comfort to know he’s touched so many.
Ben’s parents are much stronger than I would have been in those circumstances! Kudos to them for having the courage to allow Ben to give life to another sick child who hopefully gets better! Thanks for reminding us of this.
Thank you for reading and commenting. You have proved with your own awful grief that you are stronger than you ever imagined.
I have a young friend, aged 24, who I knew from the age of 5. He received a double lung transplant two years ago, and for the first time in his life is able to live without an Oxygen tank. What an incredible gift it is to give someone life…….
How wonderful to have experience on the other side of the tragedy. Thanks for sharing that. Organ donation really is such a selfless gift of immeasurable value.
Lovely post Tric! I am 23 and I signed up for organ donation about 3 years back! I feel it’s a wonderful cause and that’s definitely how I want my life to end. 🙂
That’s great to hear. Be sure to let your family know your intentions too.
I’ve long been signed up for organ donation. But I know it isn’t me who will be the one making that decision. I admire those who in their greatest grief have given the greatest gift to another. To Ben’s family, and all of these families, I am sorry for your heart breaking sorrows. And thank you for your gracious living.
Thank you. I know Ben’s family read this and I hope they got some comfort from your comment. Someone so far away remembering Ben.
i have no words.. but thankfully you do.. what a beautifully written post .. unimaginable
Thank you. It is indeed unimaginable and as we read and move on they never can.
here’s to ben, his family and all whose paths this beautiful boy crossed. he will never be forgotten, i’m quite sure of that.
Thank you Beth I know you speak from the heart and experience.