On June 29, 1990 I lost my sister Bizi in a terrible accident when she was just 29 years old. It seemed so unreal; what you would see in a movie. We received a phone call in the early morning hours, rushed to board a flight to her home town and when we got to the hospital we found out that we had lost her. My family was devastated by the loss and I was simply stunned. On that day I lost the sister who was closest to me in age and who represented many of my memories of childhood.

We were approached in the hospital by a doctor who asked us if we would be willing to donate Bizi’s organs. Although our immediate reaction was yes, we wanted to see if she had put anything in place for this issue. Her fiancé went home and found her drivers license. We noticed on there that she had not listed herself as a donor and so we were left with that decision. Ultimately we agreed that Bizi would have wanted to be part of “giving life” to those in need.

We were able to donate Bizi’s heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and corneas; although we made the decision that we only wanted to donate to save someone else, not for research purposes. Since then we have received letters through the donor association from the heart recipient and have learned that because of Bizi’s gift she was able to see her grandchildren be born. We take great solace in knowing she is doing well.

Bizi’s death and donating her organs was a valuable lesson to me and it definitely increased my awareness regarding what I can do for organ and tissue donation. Each time I renew my license, I always make sure that the Organ Donation box is checked on my driver’s license.

I miss Bizi everyday and it is good to know that people continue to live on through the gift of life she gave.

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