Sunday, March 27, 2016

Peyton's Heart Is Out There...Literally

I think you should automatically donate your organs because that would turn the balance of organ donation in a huge way. I would donate whatever anybody would take, and I'd probably do the cremation bit. -George Clooney

The other day, I was talking to another coach about the #PeytonHeartProject.  I hadn't seen him in a while and had given him a heart from the ever present bag I carry with me.  He thanked me for the heart and said that it was a good thing that Peyton's heart was out there, to which I replied, "literally." I then explained how we had donated Peyton's heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and corneas, so not only are there figurative hearts out there, his literal one is as well.

It was at that point that I began to think about not only the young man that received Peyton's heart, but those that received his other organs.  I know of two out there in the world.  The first one to contact me was Leslie Moya from Edinburgh, Texas.  Her daughter Carmel was the recipient of one of Peyton's corneas.  I wrote about this experience in my post Peyton Gave Us Hope.  The other is Brenda Gonzales of Kingsville, Texas.  Her father David received one of Peyton's kidneys.  I have talked to her on several occasions and plan on meeting her and her family in June on a quick vacation to Corpus Christi.

That leaves the others that I want to know about.  How is the woman that received Peyton's other kidney and pancreas?  Does she find herself watching old episodes of Dr. Who?  What about the two people that were given part of Peyton's liver?  Do they make Nutella sandwiches and crunchy Cheetos for lunch for an entire week straight?  Does the woman that received both of his lungs enjoy talking at length about about nothing in particular?  What about the boy that got Peyton's heart?  Did it skip a beat when you first saw the beautiful girl in science?

Thanks to TOSA, the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, I know they are doing well, and for that I am grateful.  I take solace in knowing that losing Peyton allowed others to live, nor do I harbor any remorse about the decision to give the gift of life.  It was the first positive thing to come out of Peyton's suicide, and is something that gave me hope.

Now here we are almost 18 months after Peyton's death and his recipient's second life.  I have my good days and bad.  I get through some days with no problem at all, and others where the pain is overwhelming and the tears flow freely.  It is on those days that I take comfort knowing a part of Peyton is still alive out there bringing sight and life, and that most of all, I take comfort knowing his heart is out there...literally.

*If you are interested in giving the gift of life, please check out organdonor.gov for information about organ donation.