June 21, 2009

Very special Father's Day for Falcons' Nicholas : Stephen Nicholas' arms were wrapped around his infant son, somewhat loosely because he didn't want to bump the tubes that had kept the child alive the past four months.

Wife Irene sat nearby and the doctor began talking. The doctor said the tubes were going to come out that afternoon. Stephen and Irene looked at each other and started crying as both minds registered the same two thoughts.

Stephen Nicholas Jr. had been in Children's Hospital Boston since last summer, waiting for a heart suitable to transplant into his little body.

"That was the doctor's way of saying there was a heart coming in,'' Stephen said.

Stephen Jr. was going to get a shot at life with a new heart. Tears of joy for a few seconds. Then, tears of sadness.

"The most bittersweet moment you can imagine,'' Irene said. "Our baby was going to get a new heart. But then you realize the heart had to come from someone his age and his size.''

Somewhere, someone else had lost a baby.

posted by gfinsf to football at 09:17 AM - 4 comments

Jesus. That's a hell of a story. Thanks for the link, gfinsf.

I am curious: by the rules of transplants, do you think the Nicholas' can find out who the family was that lost a child, or vice versa? I don't know if they intentionally keep that secret, or if it would be helpful for them to know that their child's death led to another being able to live- but maybe not tell them who.

posted by hincandenza at 04:32 PM on June 21, 2009

I can't think of a better father's day gift than the life of your child. That said, what an incredibly brave and selfless act on the part of the donor family.

posted by txsoccermom at 08:33 PM on June 21, 2009

I know of babies who are sick and waiting for organs. Always disturbs me when I see people saying "Hope your baby gets it!" The people never seem to think that for one to live, another family must lose their child.

VERY pleased to see this acknowledges the suffering of the other family. Add this on top of the news I just got in the real world and... No... Honestly, it's something in my eye.

posted by Drood at 12:01 AM on June 22, 2009

great story. I'm very impressed with the Atlanta organization, and how well they handled this. They've been through a lot there, but yet, Mr. Blank has continued to be a great leader. I'm not a Falcons fan, but I'm fast becoming one (except when they play my Jaguars, of course/lol).

Being an organ donor is one of the greatest gifts you can give. There was a story in our local paper yesterday about the pro golfer who received a heart transplant and got to meet the family of the donor. These type of stories never get old, and always bring a little h2o to the eyes, if you know what I mean. To be able to save lives out of tragedy, at the worst moment of your life, to think of others, is just incredible. These stories should be on the front page everyday, not the Stallworth type of stories.

posted by jagsnumberone at 12:56 AM on June 22, 2009

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