Writing to Organ/Tissue Transplant Recipients and Their Families
The decision to write to a transplant recipient is a personal one. Some donor families choose to write to transplant recipients and their families. This can be an opportunity to share information about yourself and your loved one who made the gift of life, and for some families, this sharing can help in the grief journey. The choice of writing or not writing to your loved one’s transplant recipients lies with you; however, ARORA’s Family Services Aftercare Department can help to answer any questions or address any concerns that you have as you make your decision.
Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency (ARORA) facilitates all correspondence between the donor family and the transplant recipients. All correspondence is completely anonymous and identities are kept confidential until the following conditions are met:
- The donor family and the recipient family have corresponded with each other through letters or cards;
- Both the donor family and the recipient express the desire to communicate directly with one another in the form of direct letters, phone calls, or in person;
- Both the donor family and the recipient family have signed a Consent and General Release of Information Form.
If you would like to write to the transplant recipients, you may send a card or letter. The following guidelines may assist you in deciding what type of information to include:
You may provide general information such as:
• your loved one’s first name only;
• his/her job or occupation;
• his/her hobbies or interests;
• your family situation such as marital status, children, grandchildren;
• Since the religion of the transplant recipient’s family is unknown, please consider
this if you are including religious comments.
Closing your card or letter:
• Sign your first name only;
• Do not reveal your address, city, or phone number;
• Do not reveal the name of the hospital or city where your loved one died.
Mailing your card or letter:
• Place it in an unsealed, unaddressed envelope;
• Place above in a mailing envelope;
- On a separate piece of paper, please include:
| your full name;
| your mailing address;
| your phone number
| your loved one’s full name;
| date of donation.
Mail to: Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency
Attention: Family Services Aftercare
1701 Aldersgate, Suite 4
Little Rock, AR 72205
ARORA Family Services Aftercare staff will review your card or letter to ensure confidentiality (information that may breach confidentiality will be removed) and will forward it to the transplant center. The transplant center will then send it to the recipient at their discretion.
Since your letter or card must be mailed to ARORA first and then forwarded to the transplant center, please allow extra time for your letter to reach the recipient. It may take several weeks for the transplant recipient to receive your correspondence.
Will I hear from the transplant recipients?
You may or may not receive a response from the recipients. Some of the transplant recipients write to their donor family immediately. However, many other transplant recipients have said that they are overwhelmed with emotion and have difficulty expressing their gratitude in words. As a result, it may take several months or even years before they feel comfortable writing to their donor family. Some recipients may never be able to write.
If you have questions or need additional information, please call ARORA at (501) 907- 9150 or (866) 660-5433 and ask to speak to the Family Services Aftercare Department .