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LifeSource Team Member Shares Her Unique Connection to Donation

An unexpected loss leads to a new career helping others navigate grief.

My name is Susie Thomsen. My role at LifeSource is the front desk administrator, and I have been at LifeSource for 3 years.

My connection to donation is I am a donor family member. I am actually a donor daughter. My mom Theresa passed away unexpectedly from a ruptured brain aneurysm in May of 2014.

My mom grew up in a Catholic household. She had thick brown hair and matching brown eyes. In her eyes was a kindness that was seen by all who knew her. She was as generous as they come.

On May 29th, Susie had her parents over for dinner. The next day, her mother fell ill and she began throwing up. She collapsed and was found unresponsive. As Theresa was being airlifted by helicopter to the hospital, Susie sped to meet them. Upon arrival, the doctors told Susie her mother had suffered a brain aneurysm.

I’d asked the doctor what he thought the outcome was going to be and the prognosis. And, he said that people with this type of injury typically don’t survive.

After my mom had ended up going to an ICU room from the emergency room, that’s when we first encountered the LifeSource team. They approached us and expressed how sorry that my family was going through what they were going through. They were really compassionate, caring and it was like you could tell them anything. And, we had a basic conversation about what’s probably going to happen next. They gave us the opportunity to ask any questions we had.

Theresa gave the gifts of her lungs, kidneys, liver, heart, tissues and corneas.

My mom being a donor – I personally feel like it’s given me like a silver lining. I feel like she did not die for nothing.


Since the filming of this video, Susie has moved into a new role as Donor Family Aftercare Program Administrator, to provide care and support to donor families by preparing the initial letter they receive that shares information about the generous gifts their loved ones gave through donation. Additionally, providing support to the Donor Family Aftercare team through program and event management.

Brain aneurysms do not always have clear symptoms. However, seek medical attention immediately if you or someone you are with experience a sudden, excruciating headache, as this is a common symptom of a ruptured aneurysm.