When I signed up to join the #1000Speak movement and agreed to post an article about compassion I knew I wanted to write something unique. I wanted to find an act of compassion that ran so deep and that wasn’t often talked about.
Compassion is an emotion that truly comes from the heart. It is that sympathetic feeling we get that causes a strong desire to help ease the pain of someone who is suffering. There are multitudes of ways in which we can show compassion. Often a kind word or loving touch is all it takes to soothe the suffering of another. Other times our compassion can be shown by giving to charities, volunteering, or becoming an advocate for a cause we believe in. Compassionate people are motivated to do whatever they can to help. If everyone in the world possessed this most important and highly valued quality I believe we could have peace in the world.
There are many situations in which compassion is needed. But is there an ultimate act of compassion? Is there a situation so devastating in which a person going through it can still find the will to reach out to someone also in need? I believe there is.
Every day thousands of people wait for that lifesaving phone call. Parents cradle their children and hope that a suitable donor will be found before it’s too late. An estimated 123, 215 men, women, and children are waiting for an organ donor. Sadly, 21 of those men, women, and children will die each day waiting.
It is no secret that organ and tissue donors are needed. Many adults have decided to become donors. What a great act of compassion that is.
But what if you had to make the decision of organ donation for your child?
Angelica Burkett went to work one day leaving her one year old with a babysitter. She returned home to find paramedics trying to revive her son, Laderreo Tolliver-Burkett. Her son had numerous physical injuries and although the paramedics were able to finally get a pulse, his brain was no longer functioning.
Dealing with an unthinkable loss and filled with extreme grief, Angelica decided to donate her son’s organs. Laderreo helped three babies. One received his heart, another received both his kidneys, and another received his liver.
Angelica decision to donate her son’s organs did not take away her pain, but it did help take away the heartache from parents waiting for an organ donor who could save their child’s life.
There are stories like this every day of parents having to make an unconceivable decision as to whether or not to donate the organs of their precious child.
There is no greater loss than that of a child. When a parent blanketed in grief can reach out to help others by letting go of their brain dead child so that organs can be taken to save another, well that is compassion in its ultimate form.