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.” …
Hot, humid air arrived that last week in June 2014. Our family was looking forward to a summer of entertaining, barbecuing and sharing our newly built patio with friends. Spending time as a family hiking, traveling or just hanging out at home was important to us. Aidan was ready to head off to a three-day goalie lacrosse camp. It was something he had begged to do all winter long.
Aidan loved life and he lived it with passion. Aidan or AJ, depending on who you asked, had his future completely planned. He played basketball, swam and skied. As a Boy Scout, he had spent many days camping and hiking throughout New England and he worked each day delivering the local paper on his bike. In the winter, he loved to create huge, elaborate snow forts. On vacations, he and his two siblings were thrill-ride junkies. He loved to draw and doodle. …
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. …
Avery Toole was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), one of the rarest and most devastating congenital heart defects. As a long-time nurse in Children’s Hospital Boston’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, her mother, Cheryl, knew Avery might one day need a heart transplant. What she didn’t know was the amazing relationship that she, her husband, Mike, and Avery would one day have with the family of the boy whose heart now beats in Avery’s chest. In honor of national Donate Life Month, this is their shared story.
Special thanks to KBTX for contributing to this story. To see more on the Toole/Lawyer connection, please visit their website as well.