Forum Style

Letter to donors family and loved ones

I received a liver transplant and I wanted to write a letter of sympathy for the donor family's loss and all to thank them for on ba half of their loved one who passed away who donated their organs and saved my life. Has anyone else done this? If so how long did you wait to send it? Can you give me an idea of what you said like contacting me, or if they want to be left alone. I'm just not sure what is appropriate.Any suggestions or ideas, are deep,y appreciated!Thank you,Jacquie

You need to be a member of to add comments!


Email me when people reply –


  • Almost all of us have been asked to pen a letter to the donor or family (whether there is a family or not...sometimes we never get replies,) after receiving our gifts.  I assembled my thoughts on paper (major points...being grateful, hope that the family can gain solace from donating,....)   I then edited the letter a few times, so it flowed and covered my strongest feelings.  Try not to "make it perfect," whatever you write, if it is from your heart, it will be well received.  

  • I did this about six months after my transplant because I was in the hospital for awhile after trying to recover from some complications. I could not be told who had donated unless the donor family agreed to write back and share that information. I never did hear back, but I understand that they have their reasons and that the decision to donate was made at  a difficult time.  In my letter, I expressed my gratitude and said how the transplant would transform my life for the better. I think it is best at first not to start asking the family questions until after you get a response, and then adjust yourself according to the depth of the response if given. I definitely think it is an effort worth one's time whether or not the family responds. Best of wishes for good health are being sent your way on the wings of hope.

    Warm regards,

    • Thanks so much for your input!
  • I wrote a letter and the donors mom wrote back.  It was nice.  

    Wrote my letter at about week 2.  She responded a few weeks later.  It takes a while as all letters go through the transplant coordinator until and unless both parties agree to contact directly. 

    What to say?  Well, of course I expressed my deep gratitude and sympathy for their loss.  I did say it was not JUST my life that was saved.  But also I could continue to be a husband, father, and son.  The donor made possible many positive impacts on multiple lives.  I kept it short as to one page.  I offered to correspond and meet if the family so desired and expressed that it was my desire to so.  

    • Ft thanks so much, what you said was exactly what my coordinator told me to do!
  • My transplant was done at Mayo. Their procedure is that I write a letter to the family and Mayo forwards it. It's up to the family if they want contact with me
  • We would like to thank the family and we would like to let them know that we prayed from them and still praying for them. But here in Germany the doctors said they only have a number and no names, and even if they had a name, they can not give it to us. 

  • Jacque. I know exactly how you feel. I felt the same way when I got my kidney transplant 15 yrs ago. All my transplant team was allowed to do was make sure the deceased donor's family received my letter of gratitude. I wrote the letter before I was released from the hospital. Just say what's in your heart. Hope this helps. May you be blessed with a healthy transplant.
    • Thanks so much for input! The hardest thing i had to do was come to terms that someone had to lose their life for me to get a transplant and now that has happened and I'm still having trod someone's life so I could live. I can't help but feel guilty, ashamed and overwhelming grief and sympathy for the donors family. It may just be. The amount of steroids I'm on that has my emotions going crazy but every time I start the final draft, I can't stop putting too much of me in the letter when it needs to be about them. I've prayed for Gods guidance t of patience to take my time and do it right!
This reply was deleted.

Transplant Stories

Members Stories

Transplant News


                      Transplant News



Purolator Air Filters

Thank You

Each month, it costs $60.00 to operate We greatly appreciate your support.

Facebook & instagram

Planetary Biosciences for Cystic Fibrosis

Looking for My Kidney Hero

My dear Friend Susy - a double lung transplant survivor is in need of a Kidney Angel (O positive blood type).  If you can be Susy's Hero- contact her at Thank You So Much!

Latest Activity

David replied to Steve Pearson's discussion Good 'Ol Aetna. At it again.
1 hour ago
DAP1122 (Don) posted a blog post
4 hours ago
Abdullah Fadlilah Suulola, Sean Curtis and jon joined
4 hours ago
Cora replied to Jacque Singleton's discussion Headaches???
16 hours ago
Jacque Singleton posted a discussion
17 hours ago
Cindy Brown and Toby Edmondson joined
22 hours ago
DAP1122 (Don) posted a blog post
Steve Pearson replied to Steve Pearson's discussion Transition from Prograf to Sirolimus

Lung Transplant Foundation

Contact Us