Shamon's Story

Sham Herbert, Organ Donor

Shamon's story, as shared by his wife, Marita.


Shamon was the love of my life. He was born May 25, 1973, and lived in upper Michigan for most of his life. He moved to Wisconsin in 1995, which is when I met him. I was 17, he was 21 and it was love at first sight. He was so handsome and strong. His nickname was Moose but I called him Sham. From that time on, we were inseparable. He was my first boyfriend and then became my husband; my life. We were married 15 years in September 2013 and in October he suffered a massive brain bleed, which led to his death.


Shamon was a wonderful man. He loved children and animals. He worked for many years with horses and just had a way with them. Even the most high-strung horses were calm with him. We couldn't explain it. They just responded to him. He was like that with all animals. In fact, he had a portrait of our dog "Hooch", our beloved Rottweiler, tattooed on his arm. We weren't able to have any children, so our pets were our life.


Shamon was very outspoken and I was very young and timid when we met. He taught me a lot about life and standing up for yourself. He was always protective of others, especially those who were less fortunate than himself. He had a big heart and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He loved to play Xbox and had so many friends online. He also loved the outdoors. Just about every job he ever worked was outdoors. He loved to fish, hunt and go camping. He had a big presence; you couldn't miss him when he walked in the room. He had a great sense of humor and was so quick-witted. I loved him with all my heart.


When this happened to us, it was the middle of the night and my family rushed to be by my side. When they told me that he would die and there was nothing they could do to save him I was so sad. I couldn't believe it. He was only 40 years old, how good this be? A few hours ago he was fine! We had never talked about organ donation, but because of the type of man he was - always trying to help others - I knew that he would want to help in any way he could. And the thought of him living on within others gave me some peace and hope.


We were able to be with him for three days while they coordinated the donation process. This gave his family and friends an opportunity to come and say their goodbyes. And it gave us a chance to come to terms with everything. He was able to save three lives and give the gift of sight thru his donation. I still love and miss him every day, and he will never be forgotten.


I am so grateful to everyone, from the police and EMTs to the hospital personnel at AMC and Theda Clarke, as well as the UW Health Surgical Team. They were so wonderful to me, patient and understanding. I'm especially thankful for mine and Shamon's family. Without them I could never have gotten through this.


I encourage everyone to consider organ donation. What a gift! It has made this ordeal bearable.