Voices of Donation
Donated tissue can dramatically improve the quality of life for recipients and even save lives. This is thanks to the generous gift of life given by thousands of donors each year. We hope that these stories of how tissue donation and transplantation have touched the lives of others will inspire you.
Husband. Soulmate. Best friend. These are titles Terrie Cantwell gave to her husband, James Cantwell, who passed away at the age of 61 due to an enlarged heart that was three times its normal size. Terrie found James in their backyard, and she immediately used CPR to try and revive her husband.
James worked as a carrier for the postal service for 38 years. He retired about a year before he had a bleeding stroke.
The bleeding stroke occurred 2 ½ years prior to his passing, and he was in rehab for a month after his hospital visit.
“He graduated from a wheelchair to where we were taking walks daily,” Terrie said. “I was so proud of him. And then this happened.”
Terrie describes her husband as very friendly, loving and compassionate. He was her soulmate and best friend. “It is so lonesome without him – long days and even longer nights,” she said.
For the Cantwells, the decision to donate was one they made together before his passing. They were grateful “to be able to in some way help others who might not be as fortunate.”
“Thank you for being there to help persons like myself,” she wrote in a letter to RTI Donor Services.