My name is Gerri Ashe and I am in Greenville, North Carolina. I am the sister of W. Robert Ashe, Jr., who made the decision to be an organ donor before his passing.
Tell us a little bit about your brother. What did he enjoy? And what is a treasured memory you have about him?
My brother loved people and enjoyed being around his family especially his children. If there was one thing he could do it was light up a room with his laugh and his smile. Whether he was hunting, fishing or watching sports or playing golf, he definitely would make it an enjoyable time.
Do you know what your brother was able to donate? And do you know anything about his recipients?
My brother was able to donate his heart, corneas and liver to three separate people. I have not met those individuals, but I know that they are blessed and grateful to have a more fulfilling life because of his gift.
What would you like people to know about donation and what it is like for an individual or a family to go through an experience like this?
I would like people to know that although organ donation is a difficult time to experience during the actual process, it was a blessing in the pain for my family to know that Jr. would be living on through someone else. And to know that his decision was made long before he had his stroke, which again, showed his love for people. Talking about the experience before it happens makes the decision and the outcome easier to understand. While the pain of losing a loved one is still there, we understood Jr.’s decision to donate his organs as well as his personal choice of why. It is important to have these conversations beforehand because a family is not going to be thinking about this during the time of their loved ones’ passing.
Is there a message or statement you’d like to highlight about your loved one’s story?
Organ donation is so important and cannot be stressed enough, as there are people who die in waiting every single day. We do not know when our loved ones will be in need or even ourselves. Making an informed decision can give you and your family a peace of mind so that if and when the time comes, you can concentrate on spending quality time together, sharing love and memories without the worry of a “what if”.
What do you think your loved one would have thought about donating and helping other people decide to register as organ, eye and tissue donors?
Jr. would have definitely wanted more people to register to be an organ donor because of how easy it is and in knowing that we can make a difference in others’ lives with the click of a button.
Do you want to make a difference in someone else's life? If so, consider becoming an organ, eye and tissue donor. Visit www.registerme.org, then share your life saving decision with your family.