Stories about: Donate life

Milestones made possible #becauseofadonor

There are more than 80 children currently waiting for life-saving organ transplants at Boston Children’s Hospital. The Pediatric Transplant Center team is grateful for the donors who give these kids a second chance.

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A life taken. A life given. A life shared.

Kaitlyn, donor, and Hannah, recipient
Kaitlyn and Hannah

When she read the article in the Cape Cod Times about the 11-year-old girl who underwent a life-saving liver transplant, Melissa Dunphe knew.

“Too many pieces fit for it not to be.”

She knew that the child, who was at the same hospital on the same floor on the same day, had to be the one who received her five-year-old daughter Kaitlyn’s liver.

Five years earlier, at eight months old, Kaitlyn was in a car accident that left her without the use of her limbs and unable to breathe on her own.

During her short life, her parents made moments matter.

“She was a very happy child,” her mom Melissa says. “She loved life — going for walks, having her nails painted and going to the beach. “We knew she wouldn’t live long, but I never expected it to be so soon.”

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Jalyn and Sofia: a match made in heaven

Jalyn-IIIn her own special way, Jalyn Francis always goes out of her way to support her friend Sofia. No matter what Sofia is doing, there’s a piece of her friend Jalyn right there with her, helping her as she goes.

Both girls love dancing. Jalyn could find the beat in anything—she could dance to the sounds of car horns blowing in a traffic jam if the mood took her. It’s a trait shared by Sofia, who at five is already taking ballet and tap lessons and was the queen of the dance floor when her parents took her to a family wedding last year.

Although Jalyn could often be a joker with a silly side, she could be shy too. Sometimes a little warming up to the audience was needed before she let her hair down—but after that, look out. She could sing and crack jokes from morning ’til night. And like Jalyn, that carefree spirit gets a hold of Sofia from time to time too. As if taking a cue from Jalyn, Sofia’s a natural conversationalist who loves the spotlight. She will tell joke after joke until everyone in her audience is laughing. (Sometimes the audience is laughing more at Sofia’s performance than her actual material, but either way, Sofia always gets them smiling!)

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Honoring Tim


Tim Packhem touched—and saved—a lot of lives. It’s an impressive thing to say about anyone, but the fact that Tim could affect so many, in so short a time, is what makes him truly special.

Those close to him affectionately knew him as “Tim-bo”—a friendly goofball who was quick with a joke or a hug. The kind of guy who walks up to you on your first day at a new school and invites you join him and his friends at the lunch table.

At 16 years old, when Tim died from severe brain trauma after falling off a skateboard, the number of people who appreciated his carefree attitude became heartbreakingly clear. Almost his entire school came out to honor his memory at the wake. The line, stretching long and silent, snaked slowly past his casket with hundreds of people wanting to tell him goodbye, thank you, or both.

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