Connect with Recipient

connect_recipientLocal heart transplant recipient Sammy Robinson and kidney recipient Verna Harris (right) share a moment of gratitude with donor mom, Jerlene Gilmore, shown here holding her son Michael’s photograph.

Mid-South Transplant Foundation will gladly facilitate all correspondence between recipients and donor families.

Deciding whether to connect with the recipient of your loved one’s gift is a personal and sometimes difficult decision. On one hand you are likely adjusting to your own loss. On the other hand you may want to know how your loved one’s recipient or recipients are doing or you want them to know more about your loved one’s life. It is not an easy decision. However, when you are ready to put pen to paper, please know that we are here to guide you.

Mid-South Transplant Foundation (MSTF) facilitates all correspondence between transplant recipients and donor families. Regardless of whether you decide to send a simple card or a detailed letter, just by reaching out you are letting your recipients know you are thinking of them and their families. Many recipients share that receiving correspondence from their donor family helped them gain an even deeper understanding and appreciation of their gift(s).

Helpful hints and tips about the letter-writing process:
• Donor families often choose to write to recipients to tell a little about themselves and the impact donation has had on their family and their grief journey. Recipients often say that they enjoy learning more about the person who helped them. You may wish to include likes and dislikes, a description of your family, what he or she did professionally and reflections upon what made your loved one unique.
• Until you get a feel for your recipient and how you feel about corresponding with them, we recommend you do not disclose any identifying or direct contact information. While MSTF does not restrict identifying or direct contact information, we do want to make sure you have considered all of the potential outcomes of making such a disclosure.
• MSTF works closely with other organ procurement organizations and transplant centers to ensure recipients are ready to receive your letters prior to sending them. If we receive feedback that your recipient(s) are not ready to correspond, we will immediately contact you to discuss the next steps.
• After your initial letter is written and forwarded to the recipient, which may take up to several weeks for them to receive, you may feel somewhat anxious about whether or not you will hear back from them. Please do not feel that your expression of interest is unwelcome should a response take time or not arrive at all. Your concern for the people who benefited from your generosity is greatly appreciated. Many feel so indebted that they simply find words inadequate to express their gratitude.

Our Family Care staff at MSTF is always available to assist you with writing to your recipient. We can answer questions about the process, discuss your feelings about taking this step, provide more information and even help you write your card or letter. Please do not hesitate to call us with questions or concerns at (901) 328-4438 (GIFT) or (877) 228-5433.

To send your letter:
1. Place your card/letter for the recipient in an unsealed envelope.
2. On a separate piece of paper please write your loved one’s full name, the date of donation, and your contact information. This information is confidential and kept solely for our records and to assist us in locating your loved one’s recipients.
3. Place the first envelope and the piece of paper in a sealed envelope and mail your letter to:

Mid-South Transplant Foundation
Attn: Family Care Department
8001 Centerview Parkway, Suite 302
Cordova, TN 38018