Hastings Woman Saves Lives with Remarkable Gift

By: Kim Eiten Email
By: Kim Eiten Email

Rodney Graham said it is a sacrifice very fitting of his wife.

"She was all about helping people," he said. "That's what she loved to do. She loved helping people."

That's what Gail Graham is continuing to do a month after her death.

"Someone else can walk. Someone else can maybe play catch with their son and daughter. Someone else can hug somebody," Graham said.

It's all because of a remarkable gift: Gail donated her organs and could save as many as sixty people in need of a transplant. That gift is a blessing for many, but stems from a tragedy for Rodney and his seven-year-old son, Joe.

"Numb is where I've been for the last few weeks," Graham said.

This all started at the end of March when Gail went to the hospital in pain.

"The next morning I got a call from the hospital saying that I need to get to the hospital right away because she was having a medical emergency," Graham said.

Within a few days, the unthinkable happened. Doctors declared her brain dead.

For her husband, that news meant making a decision to fulfill one of Gail's wishes, in turn, giving others a second chance at life.

"In our heart that's what I know Gail would want," Graham said.

A woman whose personality her son sums up in one word. He describes his mother as simply, "nice."

Now, both husband and son seek comfort in knowing Gail's final act is still changing lives.

"Maybe now somebody can hug their seven-year-old son," Graham said. "When I think that, it's overwhelming to think that. It's amazing."

And, he thinks his wife would feel the same.

"She's happy now, looking down on all of this," he said. "She would be extremely happy about the gift."

Graham said that, so far, five of Gail's organs have gone to patients in need of a transplant. At least one of those patients, is in Central Nebraska.

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