Mary Anita was a genuinely caring and giving person and described as a “good soul” by her daughter, Sandra. Her daughter, Anna, explains that she “always had a kind word for anyone in distress or need.” She built her whole life around saving and healing lives with her nursing career. “It only made sense that she was an eye and tissue donor- she was always willing to help others” states her daughter, Anita. Mary Anita was a daughter, sister, wife, mother of three girls, grandmother of six (whom she adored greatly), a retired registered nurse, a painter, and a bird lover. Her youngest daughter, Sandra, did not share in her mother’s affection for birds, but promised to care for them after she was gone. One fateful afternoon, Sandra was looking out at them with great disdain, thinking to herself, “these nasty things…I don’t want to go out there and feed them” when suddenly, she was sprayed in the mouth with an automatic air freshener that was sitting on the counter. She knew then, that her momma was watching over her and telling her to go feed her birds! (And probably getting a good laugh since her middle daughter, Anna, explains that she “had an incredible sense of humor and laughed easily.”) “You always think you have all the time in the world to tell your loved ones what they mean to you, or that you will be able to see them in a few days” explains her oldest daughter, Anita. “Unfortunately, momma’s heart attack was very sudden and very unexpected, and it really gave us perspective on how short life is. Her death has brought our family even closer and we hope that her corneas are helping someone see the beauty of the world, just like momma used to see when she would paint.” Organ donation means a lot to the Whitworth family, as Mary Anita’s sister-in-law was a liver recipient and her daughter, Anita, is a deputy circuit court clerk in Breckinridge County, she asks daily about becoming an organ and tissue donor. If you would like to register your decision to save lives, please visit Registerme.org or DonateLifeKY.org to secure your legacy of hope!
Our 39 year old son, Kyle, died on March 30, 2011. He died at home, peacefully in his sleep. When we got to the hospital, our daughter-in-law asked what we thought of donating Kyle’s organs. We didn’t hesitate with our answer of YES. Kyle was a man who always gave to anyone who had a need. During college he gave his last few dollars to a friend to put gas in the car for a trip home. He always helped those in trouble. Kyle was a good man. Knowing his giving, helpful spirit, why would we not agree to donate his organs. In our love of Kyle, his organs were donated. Unfortunately, because of an autopsy, his vital organs could not be used. But we were told that up to 60 people might be helped by use of his veins, tissue and skin. How wonderful – for us, his family and for the recipients and their families. We would appreciate meeting some of them. (Shared by Kyle’s parents – Mary & Gerald Jackey.)
A few years ago I was diagnosed with a disease called Hemochromatosis, a blood disease that causes your body to have too much iron. As a result of the disease I developed cirrhosis of the liver and would need a liver transplant to survive. I was placed on the national waiting list for a life-saving transplant, but my doctors warned me that finding a compatible donor liver could take months, years, or may not come in time to save my life. I prepared for the wait of my life. Fortunately, I did not have to wait long. A donor liver was found and I received the transplant that would save my life. Thanks to some wonderful, giving person who signed the back of their driver’s license to become a donor, I now live a pretty normal life. I don’t know who my donor was, but everyday I pray for their soul and for their family who carried out their wishes to be an organ donor. I encourage everyone to join the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry when you renew your driver’s license. You don’t know whose life you may save.