DEAR ABBY: Today is Sunday, April 20, 1997, the first day of Organ Donor Week. I just sat down with the morning paper for the first time in a week and read your article on organ donation. It was so timely.
Last Sunday at 1 a.m., George Paul Eldridge III, my 26-year-old son, had an automobile accident. We were told the brain damage was so severe there was no hope. Some time later, a doctor asked how we felt about donating organs. His father and I, along with the rest of the family, agreed that we wanted a part of him to live on in others. He was so giving and caring, we knew that would have been his wish.
An EEG was done on Sunday and again on Monday. It showed only minimal brain activity. I still hoped for a miracle, but by Tuesday, April 15, when the final EEG was done, he was declared brain-dead.
We buried this wonderful young man on Friday, but I find comfort in knowing he has helped others. We have already been informed that a 19-year-old girl received one of his kidneys, and a 33-year-old man with two children received his heart.
I urge anyone in this situation to do as we did and give other families hope for a future. -- PAM HALEY, LITTLE ROCK, ARK.
DEAR MRS. HALEY: I offer my deepest sympathy on the tragic and untimely death of your beloved son. You and the rest of the family are to be commended for your act of generosity in the midst of your own shock and grief.
From your description of George Paul Eldridge III, the man who received his heart (and the spirit within it) is fortunate indeed.