Organ Donation Teaching Resource Pack

Teaching Pack for use in High Schools

Organ Donation
Teaching Resource Pack


From Darkness

It is a light, so crisp, so sharp,
That has invoked a pain deep inside,
My views are of that never seen,
Yet no words....I hide.
I shadow with a vengeance,
A fear of something not known,
I feel that I am surrounded,
And yet, still so alone.
I uncover with some courage,
Some faith and great trust,
I want to share all the beauty,
It's not a choice, it's that I must.
My life has been that of darkness,
For which I've lived throughout each day,
Never a glimpse of friendly faces,
No smiles were seen my way.
But, today I live rejoicing,
For I know that God has might,
After many years of blindness,
I've been given the gift of sight!

(by Angela Maskin - wife of cornea transplant surgeon, Steven L Maskin)

Published by the National Library of Poetry

Poem to my Donor's Family

Two families,
Each unknown to the other,
Yet bound together
Forever and irrevocably
By a golden chain
Whose links are
Love, unmatched generosity,
And indescribable gratitude.
Today is forever burned
Into the memories of both families.
One will remember with sadness
The tragedy which took their loved one.
The other will remember with joy
The gift which gave their loved one back to them.
Ah! That wonderful gift!
The gift of life!
Praise be to God
For families who can, despite their grief,
Give to others so they might live.
You are my donor family.
I am the recipient of your loved one's heart.
How can I ever say "Thank You"?
I pray for you every day
And thank God for you every day.
Because of your gift...your wonderful gift...
I walked down the aisle at my son's wedding.
I saw my other son graduate from college.
And I have faith I will see my grandchildren.
May God bless you and keep you;
May he comfort you and strengthen you.
This is my prayer for you.
My wonderful donor family.
I will always carry you in my heart.

Mildred Calvert - received a heart transplant 28 May 1998

Sarah (aged 12) wrote this about her family's decision to donate her brother's organs after he sustained fatal head injuries on Millennium night.

"When my family was told that we could give his organs, I knew my mum and dad would say 'yes' and there was no doubt about that. It made me feel there was a bit more happiness for me and my family and other families around the world.

I think people should give organs because you feel like a good person and you are helping others."

Catherine now aged 19 describes how she felt when involved in the decision to donate her brother's organs. He was 15.

"Nothing in this world can prepare you for the death of someone you love. There are no remedies awaiting to ease the throbbing pain. The reality just becomes a ticket to a different way of life, a life of coping and hopefully growing. I remember when we were asked about donation. I remember thinking it was all very quick, I still hadn't accepted my brother was dead let alone whether or not I was comfortable donating his organs. However my family, Mum, Dad my sisters and myself all sat down together and discussed what we thought. Looking back I suppose the overriding feeling was that we just couldn't say 'no'..."

Jane, a close friend of a donor describes how she felt:

"Time begins to alter, expanding, contracting, spiralling
There is no rhythm to this time
Our boy gives life to five families
Their families explode with anticipatory joy, ours
burn pain into the fabric of our lives."

For other material see the NHS UK Transplant website. (

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