If you decide to write, here are some suggestions and guidelines:
Other things to consider:
- Only include information you are comfortable with sharing about yourself and your loved one. This may include occupation, hobbies, interests, or special things your loved one enjoyed. First names are welcome.
- Please do not share last names, geographic locations, phone numbers, email addresses, social media pages, hospital names, physicians that helped you, etc. Due to TOSA's confidentiality policy, this information will be omitted if included in any letters.
- You may want to briefly explain the circumstances that led to your loved one becoming a donor and how you made the decision to donate. You can also include how this decision has impacted you, your family, and community.
After you have completed your correspondence:
- Use simple language.
- If there is more than one recipient you may choose to write separate letters or use the same letter for all recipients.
- Be thoughtful when using spiritual comments since the religion of the recipient(s) is unknown.
- Place the letter or card in an unsealed envelope.
- Include a separate sheet of paper with your full name, your loved one's full name, date of donation, and your contact information.
Donor Family ServicesTexas Organ Sharing Alliance
8122 Datapoint Drive, Suite 200
San Antonio, TX 78229
Once your correspondence is received, it will be reviewed by the Donor Family Services Coordinator to ensure confidentiality. It will then be forwarded to the recipient's transplant center, reviewed by their social worker and forwarded to the recipient. Although we strive to complete this task quickly, this entire process may take several weeks before the letter reaches the recipient.Will I hear from the recipients?
Keep in mind some recipients may send a response to your letter while others may not write back. This is their personal decision that could be made for various reasons. Many recipients state they feel overwhelmed with emotion and have difficulty expressing their gratitude in a letter, while others are continuing to heal and adjusting to their new lives as a transplant recipient. Most recipients have said that writing to their donor family is the most difficult thing they have ever done. Even if you never receive a letter, we hope you will take comfort in knowing that your loved one's gift has helped others.Will I ever be able to meet the transplant recipients?
Contact between donor family members and recipients and their families has been reported to be a fulfilling experience for all parties. However, before initiating such contact, both the donor family and the recipient should take time to explore their feelings regarding direct contact.
TOSA will only allow direct, unedited communication between the donor family and recipient following an initial letter where both parties express a desire to have further communication. Both parties must sign a waiver releasing their right to confidentiality. After both waivers have been received, the exchange of personal information may be made and TOSA will no longer be involved in communication between you and this recipient. Please keep in mind this process must be done for each recipient.