To the Editor: Appreciation for OSF St. Anthony and Gift of Hope

I would like to express my support of Saint Anthony Hospital and their request to join the Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Network. Gift of Hope will forever be a part of my life as my son, Noah Gabriel, lives on through this great organization.

I will never forget a conversation I had with Noah. We were standing in our kitchen one morning when he was about 18 years old and, out of the blue, he initiated the topic of organ donation. I was not aware at the time, but that conversation was a gift to his father and me. Feb. 9, 2004, we experienced a tragedy that I wish no family would ever have to go through. As Noah drove to class, he hit a snow drift and lost control of his vehicle. Noah did not survive the accident. Recalling Noah’s wish to be an organ donor, we connected with Gift of Hope and a representative from this wonderful organization. Noah’s donations helped to improve the quality of life for approximately 25 people.

In September of 2004, we received an invitation from Gift of Hope to attend our first “Day of Hope and Remembrance.” We did not attend because we just weren’t ready. The next year, after reality had set in, we not only accepted the invitation, but also sent in Noah’s picture for a presentation honoring organ and tissue donors at the event. As we were about to leave, my husband wanted to ask a staff member a question and approached a group of them standing together. The Gift of Hope representative asked how our loved one was, and of course, I was ready with a picture and told her his name is Noah Gabriel. She turned to the other staff members and said, “Hey, everyone, this is Noah’s family.”

We left our first Day of Hope and Remembrance feeling like Noah was a celebrity and that he was a special person to them, as well as to us. We are so grateful to know that Noah lives on, not only in our hearts and memories, but in reality through the Gift of Hope.

I think Saint Anthony Hospital and the patients it serves would really benefit by joining such an incredible organization.

Gayle Boos

Rock City, Ill.

From the Aug. 25-31, 2010 issue

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