April Jones

As my wife lay in a deep coma I would rub her feet, hold her hand, and speak to her. Being a paramedic, I understood brain death. She could not hear or feel. April had been a firefighter. She had received commendations for saving the life of an accident victim while off duty. She loved this line of work and was always a people person. Ironically, the person she saved had a head injury, and his airway was blocked. Her willingness to utilize her skills without the personal protection that is usually available to us is what kept this accident victim alive. He had absolutely no airway until she stepped in and would have been brain dead in just a few minutes.

When the ICU nurses first asked me about organ donation, I responded immediately with NO! I did not want them to do that to my baby doll. You see she use to model. She was very pretty. She had a dark complexion with big hazel-green eyes, beautiful brown hair. I was already confused with all the events and emotions that were bombarding me. I answered with a very defiant NO!

The next day we were all sitting in the consultation room. It was filled with family and friends. All of us telling stories, all of us grieving. I suddenly realized that somewhere else there was another room filled with family and friends telling stories, grieving, waiting and hoping that somewhere someone would find an organ so that their loved one could live. I remembered a television show we watched together entitled "48 Hours to Save Carrie" and how moved she was with the segment that addressed organ donation. I remembered how she spoke of a childhood friend who was in end stage renal failure. I remembered how upset she was that they could not find a match for him, and how relieved she was when they finally used one of his sister's kidneys.

April always was helping others. Now, with her passing, she could continue to help others, continue to save lives. What a beautiful tribute to a person who had dedicated her life to helping others. What a beautiful gift she had to give -the Gift Of Life.

Stephen Jones