This November and December, LifeCenter Northwest honor organ and tissue donors as part of an end of year initiative titled “Give Thanks, Give Life.” In addition, LifeCenter Northwest extends their own thanks to the many hospitals, physicians, and medical professionals who work tirelessly to give so many a second chance at life.
“During this time of giving thanks, we at LifeCenter Northwest are especially grateful for the kindness, the courage, and the generosity of our donors and their families, the true heroes of donation and transplantation,” says Kevin O’Connor, CEO of LifeCenter Northwest. “Without their selfless gifts, thousands of lives would be lost each year. Choosing to give the gift of life is the ultimate expression of altruism. We extend our deepest gratitude and respect to all donors and donor families who give this gift so that others may live.”
During this holiday, we will be sharing touching and meaningful stories in efforts to raise awareness about the impact of organ, eye, and tissue donation. We encourage all to register to be a donor and/or talk to family, friends, and community members about the importance of donation and one’s wishes to become a donor. You can register at your local DMV when receiving or renewing your license or online at www.lcnw.org.
Wenatchee resident’s giving spirit lives on through the lives he saved through organ donation
Derrick Gould was a devoted and loving husband, father, son, and friend, with a generous soul. He had recently discovered hiking, a passion he shared with his wife Penny as they explored the great outdoors in and around their home in Wenatchee.
“As we crested each hill, rounded the trail, scrambled up the rocks, found the beach, he marveled at the spectacular beauty before us,” Derrick’s wife Penny remembers. “He found peace in nature and delighted in the magnificence of this world.”
Derrick’s life was cut tragically short when he suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away at Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon. However, his adventure didn’t quite end there. Derrick was a registered organ, eye, and tissue donor. In death, his legacy of giving and compassion was passed on to three individuals who are alive today because of Derrick’s generosity through the donation of both his kidneys and liver.
A true perfectionist with tremendous work ethic, Derrick always strived to give it his all and do everything to his best ability. Whether it was being a parent, supporting his wife, reeling in the best catch, or bagging a peak, he went in with 100-percent dedication. A commitment that was only “matched by his immense skill,” says Penny.
She also remembers her husband’s deep empathy describing him as “the first person to give the homeless a meal, a hot coffee, or a ride down the street.” An endless ambition to give, an act which characterized him until the end.
“It was a natural choice for him to become an organ and tissue donor,” she said. “I know he would be delighted to learn how his gifts may have touched a life and given someone a second chance.”
Penny has recently heard from a few of Derrick’s recipients who benefited from his gifts, including one who shared, “You have given me a second chance at life, allowing me to continue spending time with my wife, family, and friends.” He went on to say, “I am getting stronger every day and would not be without the gracious gift from your husband.”
Others have been inspired by Derrick’s gifts, including his six adult children who continue to miss him dearly. Penny shared that they are so proud of his generosity that they have all since registered to be organ donors themselves.