Sunday, February 7, 2010

heart valves

Since Makenzie was so little she was only able to donate a few things. Her Eyes, Skin and Heart Valves. Ryan and I made the choice to donate her heart valves. When we made this choice we kept wondering if it was enough. Did we even make a difference, we were hoping we could have donated some of her organs to help another person but we couldnt.
The first time I saw her tiny body in the funeral home I just fell apart. The scares were horrible. I was not expecting what I saw. I wanted so badly to have her perfect little body still perfect- I thought there would only be a small scar. No that didn't happen, It was her WHOLE chest/tummy. I was horrified. I couldn't believe I let them do this to her for just her valves. For a while I was secretly angry I made that choice. No one told me who would get her valves and no one told me what they are used for. Instead of doing research on it, I was just mad. We got a certificate in the mail saying thank you for donating her heart valves, we got a few letters from the donor organization, we even were invited to the Donor Ceremony to help honor Makenzie. I secretly was just annoyed. Why were they making a big deal over this. There are so many people who donated much more vital organs- why was this so important. Don't think I'm a hero- I'm secretly regretting doing this. After one emotional night and Ryan telling me it really did matter I decided I finally needed to know what exactly I did and that I didn't just ruin my little girls body for nothing. I researched online. I was amazed. I didn't even imagine how important getting a human heart valve is. I kept thinking they can just artificially make them or they can use pigs valves- how is Makenzies so important. Well- I learned that they are!

Makenzie had the best heart- it was one of the very best things about her. Knowing it will help someone, maybe another baby- giving them a worry free life, a life they don't have to go to the hospital, constantly be tested for one thing or another- that made it all worth it. It made me so happy and at peace that we made this decision.

A little info on Heart Valves:
Donated human heart valves have many advantages over artificial or animal alternatives. They are more resistant to infection and avoid the need for potentially dangerous drugs. Silent and as close as possible to normal function, they enable the patient to live a normal life, free of the need for drugs and constant testing. These donations are used to repair congenital defects in babies who could die without surgery and to replace diseased aortic valves in adults.

Makenzie- I hope you know you have made more of a difference than you could ever imagine. Not only with your love, spirit and strength but with your little heart as well.
You are an angel!


Anonymous said...

Oh sweet Kendra, you beat yourself up so much. You did such a completely unselfish act...truly you did. What a beautiful act of service your little family of 3 provided to others in need, even during your own time of need. That is a true, true act of selflessness. Little Makenzie lives on in so many ways! Your friend in SC

FROGGITY! said...

you are so kind to have donated life. and that's what you did! she lives on and on in more ways than one. may you be blessed!

Emma said...

I can't imagine how hard it would be to see your sweet little girls body like that, but I hope through your research you realize what a gift you gave, what a gift Kenzie gave...her life lives on in SO many ways!! As someone who's Dad has heart problems, and who's friend is pregnant with a baby whos heart will probably need surgery I personally thank you-as hard as it was for you to see I hope you realize, once again, how selfless you truly are. Yes, you had some regret, naturally when you see your baby like that, but I am so glad you are able to see what a blessing you gave! I know you and Ryan will do so many wonderful things in honor of Makenzie, and I can't wait to hear about them!! I wish I lived near to you because I would absolutely be there to celebrate her life, her spirit and all the wonderful things she is teaching all of us!
Love Em

Devon said...

Kendra, I think this is one of the most amazing things you can do for another person. I love the idea of a continuation of giving...Makenzie gave so much for the short time she was here, but that giving has not stopped. Because of her, a child will see rainbows and butterflies, when they wouldn't have been able to. A child will get to run and play, when they wouldn't have been able to. An amazing amazing gift.

Donation is something I feel very strongly about. I am sorry you had to see the scars--I can only imagine what that must have been like for you--but I applaud your decision.

Thank you for sharing this.

Nana said...

Oh, I think that is amazing. I am so happy you made that decision. I think she knows what she has done.

Tara Bennett said...

She made a difference in more ways than one. She touched me in so many ways.

I'm sure it was hard for you to see those scars, but I'm glad you were able to realize what a difference they truly made for someone's child.

I went to a women's conference this weekend and the theme was all about hope. I thought of you almost every single second. Love you.

Alerie said...

I am so sorry that it was so hard for you to see her sweet little body like that. Even though it is such a wonderful thing to do, I think it would be hard on any parent....we are protective by nature. I'm glad that you feel more at peace with your decision now, since you did some research. You, Ryan and Makenzie are going to bless someone and their family for the rest of their lives!! That is so amazing!! What an honor!! You truly will be a hero to them even if they never know you. I think the three of you are heros too and I am sure many others do also!!

Tristan said...

THAT IS SO COOL! You are amazing for sharing your daughter with so many and in so many ways!!!

The House that James Built said...

the three of you did make a huge difference. down the road it will be good for you guys to see who's lives you saved, improved and changed. time doesn't heal all wounds but lets just hope it makes them less raw. i love you. you are such a good woman. i am sooo looking forward to our "playdates" this week!!



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