As a hospital chaplain, Jamil Hendricks has helped families through some of the toughest moments of their lives. When his sister, Jeannette Hendricks, suddenly passed, he found himself on the receiving end of his own job.
“My sister was my best friend,” he said. “I will always remember that she wanted me to experience the best and have the very best.”
Jeannette’s journey with donation was full circle: She previously had received a cornea transplant, and in her death, she saved two lives as an organ donor and enhanced countless more as a tissue donor. Her brother described her transplant experience as “being given new life through brand new vision.” So, Jamil knew firsthand that through donation, his grief could become someone else’s joy.
“Whenever I think about my sister’s donation, I think about new life,” he said. “That’s what comes to mind with how many families we were able to keep together through the selfless act of donation.”
Jamil now has an intimate knowledge of the pain he shepherds people through every day.
“It is an eye-opening experience to know that as you begin your own grief journey, you’re also able to help another family and help keep somebody else’s loved one around a little while longer,” he said.