Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center is helping one local mother honor her son's memory while offering support to other families of organ donors.
Marie LaPersonerie, of Copaigue, lost her 24-year-old son, Sean, to head injuries suffered during a car accident just a year after he returned from a tour in Iraq.
While carrying out Sean's wishes to donate his organs, a friend offered LaPersonerie a hand-knit blanket to be placed on her son until he went into surgery for the removal of his organs at Good Sam.
From that thoughtful act, Sean's Gift was born.
After Sean's passing, LaPersonarie teamed up with members of the Town of Babylon Spangle Drive Senior Citizen Center to create Sean's Gift, a not-for-profit program that provides support to the loved ones of organ donors.
The hospital now offers hand-knit blankets, given with a note, “May this blanket wrap you in warmth and love of the loved one you lost,” to the families of organ donors.
“Being able to help others with the donation of my son’s organs helped me through this tragedy," said LaPersonarie. "Knowing my son helped save several lives has given me great comfort."
The founders plan to expand the program throughout the state with the help of the New York Organ Donor Network.
More than 110,000 people are waiting for organ transplants in the United States; an estimated 7,500 of them live on Long Island and in the lower New York state region, According to Good Samaritan Hospital. the hospital coordinates organ donations and supports families in the local community throughout the process.
To learn more about becoming an organ donor, contact your local DMV office or visit www.SaveLivesNewYork.org.