Eli’s Story

As told by his mother, Jodie

Boy + Boy = Twins

The moment the Nurse Practitioner pulled Jesse and I into the family conference room after Eli’s surgery (to repair spina bifida), we knew something was not right. Looking back, that 15 minutes would change our hope, our future, and our hearts. That very moment, the words “Can he become an organ donor?” came out of my mouth. We are unsure as to where those words came from. My husband never flinched. But grasping our hands tighter, we felt peace and purpose for the first time through this journey that if we took him off of support, we knew he had a greater purpose in this life than our own.

Organ Donation was not something we had spoken about prior to the twins arrival, as we were told that both of our twin boys were coming home. We had often had the conversation in our marriage of the “what ifs” about our own lives but this never applied to our children, as that is a horrific thought. But fortunately, 2 hours after meeting with that nurse practitioner, we received word that Eli was a candidate to be a heart valve donor. We immediately knew that this was the right decision for our son. The hardest decision for our child’s life was made within his first week of life.

Twin –  Twin = A twinless twin and a heart valve donor.

Today, we are public speakers for Organ Donation and Eli is honored on the 2014 Donate Life America Rose Bowl Parade Float. The choice to take Eli off of life support to become an organ donor was an easy decision for us. The choice to let him go was excruciating. But each day as we look into his twin brother’s eyes, we hope and pray that we can instill in him the importance of giving life so that other parents don’t have to face the loss of their own child. Eli is a hero. But you don’t have to tell Walker that; he already knows.

You can read more about Eli’s story and how his family has promoted donation on Jodie’s blog: http://www.mcginleybabyjourney.blogspot.com/ or by visiting the Team Eli Facebook Page.

You can also watch a video about Eli’s story created by his family with the help of March of Dimes: Eli’s Story.

Eli was also honored on the 2014 Donate Life Float in the Rose Bowl Parade as a Florograph.

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