“My heart goes out to those families,” Connor’s mother, Darlene Mitchell said. “It’s hard, because I am glad that I got to see him healthy again, but you know what the other family is going through.”
“We are grateful that there were two families that were able to find it within their hearts to make this decision,” Smitty said.
Smitty said he had talked about organ donation and the circumstances surrounding it a number of times with both Connor and his brother, Brock, who was also the recipient of a heart transplant Dec. 11, 2010.
“Both boys had issues with this - that another child would have to die in order for them to receive a new heart,” Smitty said. “We talked about the fact that no matter what, things were going to happen to people, and that our hope was there would be a family out there that would make the choice to help others.”
“You never hope for the result, but you hope for the decision,” Connor said.
The family said they would like to someday be able to meet the families of both donors, and said they had already sent letters to Brock’s.
“I wrote a letter and Brock wrote a letter to the family,” Smitty said. “Those letters were given to a social worker here who then forwarded them to the national data base and to the hospital where the donation was made. A social worker from there could then look up who made the donation and ask the family if they would like to receive the letter.”
“All that we know is that the letters got to the hospital where the donation was made,” he added. “We do not know if the family received them or not.”
“I would just love to be able to say thank you to both of these families that helped my boys,” Mitchell said.
For more information about organ donation, visit the website organdonor.gov.