Derek's Story

The following tribute was written by Darlene in tribute to her son Derek (pictured).


Derek, who donated his organs at UW Hospital and ClinicsWhen my son Derek died unexpectedly in 1990 at the young age of 18, our family made the decision to donate his organs. One week after his death, we received a letter from the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, indicating that four people received his organs. Within three years, we had met all four recipients. Claude received his heart. Jim received one of his kidneys. Lori received his pancreas and the other kidney and Charles received his liver.

Claude died years later from diabetic complications and Jim died in 1999 from heart failure. However, Charles and Lori are still enjoying their new lives. We get together often with Lori and her family, and keep in touch with Charles and his family.

Organ donation was something I had never thought of – not for myself, and definitely not for my son. Now, years later, I know it was the right thing to do. Derek would be proud that we made that decision for him.

Lori is now a registered pharmacist, with her PhD, and lives in Illinois with her husband Jim. Charles has walked his daughter down the aisle for her wedding and continues to enjoy his life in Michigan with his wife and their family.

Derek was 18 when he died, and November 28, 2010 marks 20 years since he died. We have wonderful memories of Derek and continue to share them with family and friends.

Life goes on – life is good – and we remember Derek with love, laughter and lots of Derek stories.