Correspondence between Donor Families and Recipients

David Gorham

Last year, a retired train conductor received a kidney from a toddler. David Gorham was a happy two-and-a-half year old who loved to sing and visit the penguins at the Akron Zoo. Like most little boys, he was enamored with cars, airplanes and other vehicles. When David died, his parents made the selfless decision to donate his organs. LEARN MORE.

Organ donor families and organ recipients may exchange anonymous correspondences if this is requested and agreeable to each.   The bereavement department may be contacted to answer any questions or to obtain a printed copy of the guidelines.

The status of organ recipients is available upon request, by contacting the Bereavement Department.

Tissue donor families may contact the Bereavement Department to receive information about the unique circumstances around correspondence and to inquire about the status of tissue donated for transplant.


As a donor family member or transplant recipient, it is your personal choice to write or not write. If you are comfortable and decide to write, you may wish to:

  • Share general information about yourself and/or your loved one including:

               -Special memories

  • Talk about how donation or transplantation has impacted you.
  • If a donor family, express your support for the recipient's recovery.
  • If a recipient, express your condolences for the loss of their loved one.

Please remember not to reveal any identifying information as correspondences are anonymous, so do not include last names, street addresses or cities, email addresses, phone numbers, hospital names, or photos. The religious beliefs of individuals are unknown, so please consider this before including religious comments.

There is no time frame for corresponding and you are welcome to initiate correspondence. If you are not comfortable writing a letter or note, a card is also an option.

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