Woman's Choice for Dying Husband Is Ultimate Act of Love

HeavenWhen you fall in love and get married, you assume that you’re going to spend the rest of your days with that person, growing with them and taking care of them and sharing your experiences with them. You plan to pass your golden years putzing around together in too-high pants and too-big cars, and feel the joy of having throngs of kids and grandkids around you.

That’s what Mirtala Garcia expected when she married her husband, Julio. They spent 12 years together, shrouded in love and building their lives. He’d suffered from severe migraines since they met and he got along the best way he could. Then he suffered a major hemorrhage that permanently damaged his brain. He was alive, but only because machines were keeping him that way.

Mirtala had to make the excruciating decision to let him go — but not before she gifted his organs to people waiting for another chance at life, even as her husband lost his.

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Julio was only 38 when he passed away in March 2010, but his legacy lives in on in a wonderful, special, amazing way: his heart, kidneys, and liver, among other organs, were donated and ultimately saved the lives of seven or eight other people. Earlier this year, five of the recipients of Garcia’s giving met up to celebrate living and love and renewed perception on the value of both. It’s a tearjerker to hear them talk about it — grab a Kleenex if you’re going to watch the video. I’ve seen it three times now and ended up teary-eyed every single one of them.

Unless there’s a risky lifestyle or a preexisting disease involved, you never, ever expect the man you love to be ripped from your life so young. Death is almost always a ridiculously painful process — and it’s definitely a whole process — but it’s downright heart-wrenching when it rocks your entire family. Mirtala had to have probably like 200 thoughts racing through her head after her husband made his transition. But she made a selfless, thoughtful choice. I have an enormous amount of respect for her desire to help others, even in the midst of her own unthinkable grief.  

Because of her and Julio, a dynamic duo even in their separated state, seven or eight lives were saved but hundreds more were impacted as the organ recipients’ family and friends breathe a sigh of relief for having their loved one healthy, strong, and in their lives to stay. Now that’s how you create a legacy for a loved one who’s passed on.  

Would you donate your spouse’s organs if they passed away? Are you an organ donor?


Image via Lin Pernille Photography/Flickr

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