Dennis Meeker
Organ Donor
Age - 59 Canyon Lake, TX
Date of Donation: 06/06/2009
Breckenridge Hospital; Austin, 
TX


 

Organ donation first touched our lives about 30 years ago when a young mother received a lifesaving kidney transplant.  I do not know the name of that donor but, his gift gave me my friend Debbie.  Through her story, I knew that if the situation ever presented itself, I would not hesitate to offer the gift of a lifesaving organ.

Fast forward thirty years.  My husband, Dennis Meeker, was driving home from work.  He called to say he was almost home.  I told him dinner was on and to be sure to bring home a bag of ice.  He said, “okay” and “I love you Sweetie.”  That was how every conversation ended from our meeting in 2000 to the last conversation we had on June 5, 2009.  He would check in regularly and always end with those same words:  “I love you Sweetie.”  Those would be the last words he would ever say to me.  Every moment of our last call seemed so normal.   

Dennis was always very careful.  He obeyed every law of the road and traveled the back roads because he thought the crazies drove on the Interstate.  As he drove down a two lane back road that day, the car in front of him came to a stop to make a left hand turn.  A young woman was driving the stopped car; her two month old baby was in his car seat in the back seat of her car.  As Dennis, in his compact pickup, waited patiently for her to turn, a large size dually pick-up hit him from behind at approximately 65 mph, never applying the brakes.  The impact bent Den’s truck in half and shot him through a field and through a fence, and then the big truck went on to hit the mother and child in the front car, knocking it almost a city block on down the highway.  Dennis took the brunt of the impact and was the only injury in the accident.   

Realizing Dennis should have already arrived home I called and got only his voicemail.  Minutes later, my phone rang.  It was the hospital to tell me there had been an accident and that it was very bad.  I stayed with Dennis all night, holding his hand as the medical staff tried so hard to put life back into his body.  In the end, we could not change what happened to us.  The only blessing to be found in that awful moment was to pass on the gift of life.  Den’s heart went to a man in Mississippi, his liver and a kidney to a woman in Texas, a kidney went to man in Indiana, his pancreas to diabetic research and his eyes blessed someone with sight. 

We were ordinary people having an ordinary day when our world turned upside down.  In the midst of that, I already KNEW this one answer.  Dennis would want to pass on the gift of life.  I knew because we had already talked about it.   

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