Tragedy struck the Bumgardner family in early fall 2016, when Ella developed a severe headache which revealed a life threatening condition, a sudden AVM rupture (a tangle of veins and arteries in the brain). She was rushed by ambulance to the local children’s hospital, where unfortunately, Ella did not survive. She was pronounced brain dead and the Bumgardner family made the decision to donate Ella’s organs. “We were praying for a miracle, but we soon realized that Ella could be a miracle for someone else through organ donation.” says Jeff, Ella’s dad. “There was meaning for Ella’s life. She is still living in the recipients and a part of her is still with us, through them.” says Jody, Ella’s mom.
For the third year in a row, throughout Donate Life Month, which is celebrated annually in April, LifeLink is promoting acts of kindness in honor of Ella and all those who have given
the greatest act of kindness of all – the Gift of Life through organ and tissue donation. The message of kindness to others is especially relevant as we have faced a year of uncertainty, and while we continue to be diligent with social distancing to ensure the safety of our communities, one thing can be a constant – the kindness we show others. We don’t have to be face to face to be kind to one another – kindness can be delivered from a distance. Here are some ideas:
Acts of Kindness from afar:
- Write a note to a teacher/mentor who has inspired you.
- Connect with an old friend with a note of encouragement.
- Reach out to a fellow co-worker to provide encouragement as you work remotely.
- Transplant recipients – write a letter of hope to those waiting for transplant and share with your transplant center or reach out to your donor’s family.
- Send a letter to elderly people in nursing homes who currently can’t have visitors.
- Send a thank you card to hospital staff.
- Have a pizza delivered to hospital staff, fire station, police station, etc. for those on the front lines of our current crisis.
- Help a friend’s kid with homework to give parents a break. Use video capabilities.
- Leave a thank you note and gift card for drive through for your mail carrier.
- Pay it forward by picking up the tab for a stranger’s meal of coffee at the drive through.
- Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor and leave them safely at their door.
- Order dinner for delivery to a family whose plate is overflowing with the responsibility of working and schooling at home.
- Provide a snack/drink to your delivery person (FedEx, UPS, USPS)
- Thank your healthcare workers who are on the front lines for their diligence and compassion. · Register as an organ, tissue and eye donor by visiting www.DonateLifeFlorida.org or www.DonateLifeGeorgia.org
Encourage others to join you in random acts of kindness with an Act of Kindness card. You may download and print our Act of Kindness card or contact us to request cards be mailed to you.
Are you the recipient of an act of kindness? Let us know by posting on social media with #DonateLifeKindness and tag @LifeLinkGA or @LifeLinkFL or post in the Acts of Kindness Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DonateLifeKindness/