Stories of Life & Giving

 

Evelyn Collison - Donor

Patrick Michaud

Evelyn Collison loved life.  She was constantly smiling and cheered all who met her.  Ev was a tremendous gymnast and all around athlete, an avid reader, fine student, dancer and a piano player. Evelyn had an unfailingly sunny disposition and the brightest eyes imaginable; she loved everyone.   Her teachers loved her.  At age 5 she could do a double walk over on a balance beam. She won many gymnastics trophies and honors.  In 4th grade she won the handstand competition at the UMass, Amherst gymnastics summer camp, outlasting even high school entrants.  Evelyn truly loved summers spent at her summer home in Goshen, MA. 

Evelyn suffered from epilepsy.  A virus damaged her brain at age 10. She lost the ability to talk and walk.  She could still read and communicate with her eyes and gaze.  She spent 10 years in the loving care of her teachers and staff at Kennedy Day School in Brighton. They are angels.

Evelyn Collison died at the age of 20.  She had coded over night probably from the flu.  She loved Ann of Green Gables, Hairspray, Little Mermaid, and Grease, her dog Bobby, and above all, her family.  Her favorite food, she told her class, was broccoli. Evelyn was rich in heart and in family. She left parents, four brothers and a sister and many nieces and nephews and scores of friends.  Evelyn donated her organs to New England Organ Bank helping save the lives of five people, including a young boy who received her heart.  "We love Ev and will always miss her."

 

Christopher Duffy

Christopher Duffy - Donor

Chris passed away from an aneurism in August of 2000.  He was thirty-five years old when he had died in his sleep.  Chris was a pro wrestler and a baseball coach in his town.  He was not able to donate his major organs; however, he was able to help approximately forty-five people through tissue donation. 

We know that if there truly is a reward for a "job well done" down here, then Chris (Pud) is reaping it, and we hope, praying for us to do half as well as he did! His favorite song was Sinatra's (Yes, Sinatra!) "My Way". Well, his way was the right way! He was a model son, a great role model to his students, and all the young people who knew him. I hope he knows how much I miss our morning "Stove League" sessions, and is willing to renew them when I get to where he is!

Love, Mom and Dad

 

Patrick Michaud - Heart Recipient

Patrick Michaud

Patrick Michaud, now a healthy eight year old boy, received the gift of life when he was three years old.  His heart was failing, and had been for over two years of his young life.  Once listed for an organ, Patrick waited 40 days for his life saving heart.  Thanks to someone's decision of organ donation, my son has life!  I thank God for the life of my son, and for the family who gave that gift of life to us.

If you're an organ donor, you're a hero to me!

Stacey Michaud, Mother of Patrick

 

Allison Lindgren - Heart Recipient

Allison Lindgren

Allison was diagnosed at the young age of 15 months with a rare and incurable form of heart disease called restrictive cardiomyopathy.  Growing up, she could not partake in sports or similar activities as it would cause her to become extremely fatigued and drained of energy.  The summer after 6th grade, at the age of 11, she became increasingly ill and was admitted to the hospital in the fall.  She received her heart transplant in October of 1998 and has since stayed in good health.  In addition, she is an active volunteer for the New England Organ Bank in hopes that she will be able to educate others on the importance of organ donation.  Today she is twenty years old and in her third year of college studying communications.  Although she has never met them, remains ever thankful to her donor family and strongly encourages organ donation.

Herbert Ronald Knight III "Champion" - Donor

Herbert Ronald Knight III

Herbie died February 26, 2005 at the age of 12.  During his life he was active in many groups and programs at his school, church, and in his community.

Though his life ended, Herbie continued with his daily practice of sharing and giving, donating his organs and tissue so that others, both children and adults, would enjoy a better life.

Herbie served as student tech advisor at his middle school when all of the students were issued a computer and performed with both the jazz band and concert band playing his trombone.  He was a member of the Junior Youth Group at his church and even played the hand bells in the choir.  Herbie proudly held rank of Scout, Second Class in the Boy Scouts.  One of the greatest joys he took from scouting was the opportunity to be involved in community service projects and striving to accomplish “a good turn daily”.  He had great fun playing in his town’s NFL Flag Football League, as well as on the Little League team.  He loved to talk with people and no day passed where he didn’t bring a smile to somebody’s face by sharing one of the new facts he’d learned and or an interesting story that he had to tell.

Amanda Paro - Donor

Amanda Paro

Mandy was a beautiful person. She had a smile that could make anyone feel welcome and at ease. Mandy chose to go into a profession where she could help heal people; she was to be a nurse. Sadly, three months prior to her college graduation, Mandy passed away on a snowy February morning while driving to her student nursing assignment. As a child, Mandy wanted to be a part of everything, nicknamed “Mandy-touch-touch”, she carried that into her adult life. Mandy was involved in many activities including Habitat for Humanity and president of her college student nursing association. Because our family had discussed organ and tissue donation and because of the kind and giving person Mandy was, it was an easy decision for our family. Mandy would have wanted her last gift to the world to be to improve and save the lives of others. The saddest day in our family’s lives turned into the happiest for another family’s. Knowing this fact brings our family comfort and reassurance that Mandy lived and died helping people.

Dan Caredeo - Liver Recipient

Dan Caredeo

My name is Dan. I was a normal healthy five-year-old when I became very sick. The exact cause of my illness was never discovered, but the end result was I needed an emergent liver transplant. I received that liver transplant on October 28th 1994, at the New England Medical Center Floating Hospital for Children. After a stay in the hospital I returned home to continue my recovery. I was able to participate in Pop Warner football, baseball, wrestling, and track and field. I also enjoy boating on Lake Winnipesaukee in N.H.. I am now a senior at Salem High School. I gave up football and wrestling to concentrate on cross-country running. I have been a member of the cross-country team all four years at SHS. I have been an active member of the student government, holding such positions as class treasurer, class vice-president and this year I am the senior class president. I am a member of the National Honor Society and the National Vocational Technical Honor Society. I work part-time as a produce clerk at the local Market Basket and I volunteer for different organizations, one being the New England Organ Bank.

Ever since my transplant, I knew I wanted to be a physician. More specifically I want to be a pediatric transplant surgeon and return the favor to other young kids. I have recently have been accepted into college for biology and pre-medicine. I hope to continue to make the best of my future. Each new day brings promise, and I will always embrace it and cherish my gift of life.

 

Suellen Canfield - Donor

Suellen Canfield

Suellen had a special warmth and gracious Southern style that helped her forge instant, lasting friendships.  Her caring nature was the basis for insight to people that changed the lives of many who sought her counsel. Playing bridge, mahjong, bowling, and attending shows from Broadway to community theater were frequent activities, particularly if family members were part of the cast.  She was a fan of all sports but passionate about the St Louis Cardinals..  But the greatest joy of her life was her grandchildren.  In their eyes she was the eight wonder of the world and she relished that role. We thought of her as the ultimate grandmother.

Bill Slinsky - Donor

Bill Slinsky

On October 23, 2003 my best friend and husband of 20 years passed away at far too young an age due to a brain aneurysm. Bill was a warm and gentle man, yet the pillar of strength that we all depended upon. Bill was a terrific father, setting an example of hard work, trustworthiness, patience and kindness for his sons to follow. Bill was a friend to all that knew him, as his steady demeanor was comfortable to be near. Bill wasn’t given to boasting, but rather spoke volumes through his actions. As someone said in a letter after his death, Bill was a quiet man, and when he had something to say, people would listen because they knew it would be something well thought out and worth hearing. Bill was a nationally published photographer, but would never brag about it. Bill loved to spend the early dawn hours, late night hours, or snow filled days taking photos of nature and trains when everyone else was sleeping or staying indoors, away from the elements. Bill had a great sense of adventure as well, enjoying exploring backroads and quiet waterways in our kayaks. During the summer months, Bill also enjoyed competitive sailing with my dad, wishing only that he had more time to devote to it.

Bill felt strongly about organ and tissue donation, and carried his NEOB donor card in his wallet to his last day. I carried out his wishes, and am very comforted knowing that there are three people that received life saving organs and many more that had their lives improved through tissue donation. That knowledge has helped us get through the darkest period of our lives, and helped us move toward the future. We wish all the best to the recipients and hope they continue to thrive!

Katie McCarthy - Donor

Katie McCarthy

On a sunny winter afternoon, our beloved daughter, Katie, was taken from us in a tragic automobile accident. She was the older of our two children.

Katie was a loving, smart, intelligent college freshman honors student, who had planned on a teaching career. Katie was a happy, young woman, who always had a positive outlook on life; this was a wonderful quality that she was able to pass on to those around her.

Katie was also an accomplished musician, a clarinet player, for ten years and had won many awards, medals, and competitions around the United States and Canada. Katie had a genuine love for life and was successful in just about anything she did. She always loved a challenge. Travel was one of her passions, and she was fortunate to travel to England and France.

Katie leaves behind her parents, sister, grandparents, aunt, uncles, a cousin, and her boyfriend, Jeff, along with her best friend, Megan. Everyone misses her so very much.

Organ donation was something we always discussed openly in our home. Both of us are organ donors, and Katie felt the same way should something ever happen to her.

Since Katie left us that cold winter day, we feel an emptiness and a loss so great that our lives are forever changed.

We are all so proud that Katie was able to help four individuals who were in desperate need of vital organs in order to live. These people are truly blessed to have received such a wonderful gift from our “perfect” daughter, granddaughter, sister, girlfriend, friend, cousin, and niece.

We all love you and miss your warm laughter, sense of humor, and most of all your beautiful smile.

We love you forever,
Mom & Dad