Tom Saburn, a heart recipient and volunteer from Duluth, MN and his wife, Nancy, had the opportunity to meet his donor’s family last year in Leominster, Massachusetts. His donor was Aaron Creamer, a 24 year old man who died in a motorcycle accident in Sturgis, SD on August 12th, 2004.
The letter Tom received from his donor’s stepmom after their visit is a glimpse into the mind of a donor parent – their struggles, hopes and prayers for their loved one and for the transplant recipients. Written over a year ago, Tom and his family treasure the letter and wanted to share it.
What an amazing experience for Nancy and me to meet with Aaron Creamer’s family 5 years after my heart transplant. We were so openly accepted by one and all. Yet the response letter we received after returning home brought tears of joy again. We wanted share some of these comments with you.
Below is part of a letter to Tom and Nancy from Wendy Creamer, Aaron’s stepmother, dated October 26th, 2009. Tom spoke with Wendy and she was thrilled to share part of the letter she wrote to him with all of you.
Up until this past Friday, for the past five years, our hearts were heavy and it always seemed like just when things were going to get easier, something else happened. Birthdays passed, holidays came and went, family events and reunions happened, but they were never the same. There was always this dark emptiness that resided in our souls and no matter how hard we tried to heal it, it was always there. We prayed and we pray. We thank God for what we Do have and know we are more blessed than most but still…. That emptiness ate away at us. We have a strong faith yet we still wondered WHY? Why Aaron, why such a good person… he was just a young man.
Saturday October 24, 2009 we met at Donna’s house for a family dinner and that it was. The crowd was big the food was great but what I remember most is the feeling I got, the feeling I think everyone had… Tom, you were no longer the “man with Aaron’s heart,” you were Tom.
Tom you are SO MUCH MORE than the man with Aaron’s heart. I believe you can see a man’s soul when you look into his eyes and what I saw when I looked into your eyes was an “old soul.” You get it, you get life and what it’s all about. Your love is pure and genuine. When you talk, people are drawn to you, they hang on your every word and you could hear a pin drop on a piece of cotton.
I believe that God chose you to live because you still have a purpose here and a very important one. There is no doubt in my mind that no one but God could have picked a more wonderful and deserving person to receive this gift from Aaron who was so much a loving and giving man himself. We know how appreciative you are for the gift you received but please know that we are also appreciative for the gift of life that you too gave to us. Thank you for what you have done for our family, we are forever grateful.
Love for Eternity,