It wasn’t until I read the article about young Brian Sheffield’s urgent need for an organ donor that I decided to get involved. At the time, Brian was critically ill and on dialysis.
You have to admire the fortitude of a young man so determined to learn to play a musical instrument. Particularly the organ, which is a difficult instrument to play.
I had inherited two of them. One thing I had not inherited was musical talent. They were just sitting there making me feel guilty. I decided to donate the Baldwin brand, model # 665. It was a small portable one and would be easier to move and more likely to fit in their family room.
I called the phone number listed in the article and said, “I would like to become an organ donor for Brian.”
I had no idea the process of organ donation was so complicated. His mother insisted that I speak to a psychologist, who asked if I was sure that I could handle the psychological stress of donating an organ.
“Sure,” I said. “I have no use for it. It is just taking up space. I have another one. Why are you making such a big deal of it?”
“Bless you, my dear,” he said with tears in his eyes.
Then I was forced to undergo a complete physical exam and blood work-up to ascertain if I was fit enough to donate an organ. I tried to tell them that I did not plan to move the organ myself. I had already hired a professional mover and had given him Brian’s address.
“Ha-ha, You are such a kidder!” he said.
At the hospital before the physical I was given a couple of pills, which they said were to relax me. They must have worked because I dozed off. The next thing I remembered was waking up in the recovery room, groggy, disoriented, and in considerable pain.
“Nurse,” I gasped, “was the organ successfully delivered to Brian?”
“Oh, yes,” she answered. “And it was a near perfect match.”
I guess it was a good thing that I donated the small one with the cherry finish instead of the large oak one. I had a feeling it would match their other furniture better.
Later that afternoon Brian’s family gathered around my hospital bed, laughing, crying, hugging, and kissing. I have never seen such an outpouring of love and gratitude. It made me wish I had gone with the full-size pipe organ instead of the portable one.
Over the next few months I was a frequent guest at Brian’s home, where I was welcomed like one of the family. Brian’s mom seemed puzzled by the recent delivery of my Baldwin portable organ model # 665. She wanted to know how I knew that Brian had always wanted to play a musical instrument.
I thought this was curious, since it was Brian’s request for an organ that had brought us together in the first place.
I said to Brian’s mom, “Brian is positively glowing with good health. I understand that he is no longer on dialysis. The love of music must be a powerful thing.”
“It is all thanks to you,” she said. “You truly saved his life when you donated your kidney through the organ donor program.”
“My kidney? I donated my kidney?! Well that explains the scar.”
“We can never thank you enough for such a selfless act,” she said. “Your heart truly is in the right place.”
“Darn right it is!” I said. “And it had better stay there! I am not done with it yet!”