Hello everyone, first I just want to introduce myself, my name is Carrie Bogie and I am a donor wife. My husband Nicholas Bogie passed away two and a half years ago and after much consideration and with the help of our families, I decided to make the decision of donating Nick’s organs. I can honestly say that at the time it was the hardest decision I had ever made, I had just lost my husband, the father to my children and my best friend but now looking back at all I have been able to do these past few years I am proud of my decision and I know Nick would be as well.
I remember just like it was yesterday I was sitting in my preschool classroom singing songs with my students and just being silly when I was told I had a phone call. I stood up and answered the phone and on the other end was my mother in law in complete hysterics. The sound of her voice sent a cold chill through my entire body and I knew it wasn’t good. She told me through sobs that Nick had been in an accident and he was being darted to Dartmouth Hitchcock medical center. I dropped the phone and just fell to the floor as my co workers came to my side and took the phone from me they got all the details and one of my close friends went into more detail of his accident. He was struck head on by a tree limb while trimming trees in the woods, my in-laws were on their way to pick me up and head to the hospital. As I stood outside the school in the driveway waiting for them I heard the loud noise of propellers and saw the dart helicopter pass over head. That was the worst feeling in the world, seeing it, knowing Nick was inside and not knowing whether or not he was going to survive.
I spent the next two days by his bed side waiting for a miracle, he suffered from severe brain damage and the doctors kept telling me they were doing everything possible to save him and I had so much hope and faith that he was going to come through this. At the time, Nick and I were parents to an amazing 15-month old son Brayden. While in the hospital I found out I was expecting another child. I wanted to take this as a sign that he was going to be ok and he wouldn’t leave me alone with two children. On Thursday March 31st the doctors brought me into a room with all our family and told me that they had done everything they could for Nick but he was brain dead. Those words still haunt me and I can still remember the tone of the doctor’s voice as he spoke to us, the next question that was asked of me was if Nick and I spoke about organ donation. My first reaction was anger. How could you dare ask me such a question after my husband has died, how can I even think about something like that? We were left alone in that room to discuss it and once I was able to pull myself together I asked each of our family members what they thought, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles and finally Nick’s brother said something that helped me make the decision. He said “If everyone could have a little piece of Nick this world would be a better place.”
The very first night after leaving the hospital I obviously did not sleep a wink…I spent the night talking with my sisters, crying, screaming, anything to get my anger and sadness out. Around 11pm that night I received a call from our aftercare coordinator and as she began to tell me where Nick’s organs were being placed a sense of calm came over me. I listened as she told me a one year old was going to receive one of Nick’s kidneys, a 12 year old to receive the other, a woman was receiving his pancreas and a father of two was receiving his liver. I found out later on Nick’s heart valves would soon be transplanted as well. I immediately called family members and told them the wonderful news, we cried over the phone but deep down this is just what I needed, I did end up falling asleep that first night but that is because I knew Nick’s life wasn’t over, I knew he was living, not only within our children but within these complete strangers.
The first year after Nick’s death is a blur, I went through all the stages of grief but I also had to deal with all the symptoms and pains of a pregnancy. On November 29th 2011 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl Brynn Nicholas Bogie. I always tell people while sharing Nick’s story of donation that two things saved me, our children and knowing that Nick gave life to complete strangers. Nick left me with two of the most amazing gifts and I cherish them every single day, they know who their daddy is and our son who is three years old will tell you that daddy is a hero and he donated his organs. They amaze me everything day and I am so proud to be their mommy and even more proud that Nick is their daddy.
Organ donation was something Nick and I never got a chance to talk about, but because of the person he was I knew what he would tell me “Do it Carrie, I do not need them anymore, give them to someone who needs them.” He was such a caring and loving person and I just know that he would want to give life to others.
March 31st is a day that I will never forget and the pain and suffering that I experienced that day I cannot explain, but the pride that I have felt in knowing that my husband saved the lives of complete strangers has helped me so much while grieving his loss. I have been promoting organ donation in VT and NH since Nick passed away and it has made a very negative experience into a positive one. We have two beautiful children and I want them to know that their dad was a true hero and that their mom made sure to tell the world about him.
I share Nick’s story in hopes of inspiring others to become organ donors and to hear a story from a donor family and hear how making the decision to donate Nick’s organs helped me grieve and heal in so many ways.
I want people to see that I didn’t let myself go and that by sharing Nick’s story I was able to live again.
Every day I think about Nick but I also think about the lives he saved and just how amazing the gift of life truly is. On those really hard days like birthdays, first days of preschool, or Christmas I try hard to think that even though Nick isn’t here with us, someone else is able to do these things because of Nick and how amazing is that!
I miss Nick every day and every day I wish I could have him back. My hope is that my story will inspire you and that you and your family will start talking about organ donation and what your wishes are. No wife, mother, father, husband or any other family member want to make the final decision during such a difficult time so take the time to talk about it now. Register to be a donor if that is what you wish to do but also talk to your family about your wishes, unfortunately life is short and you have absolutely no idea when your time is up. My choice to donate nicks organs seems so simple now but at that moment it wasn’t because we never talked about it, I never got the chance to ask him what he would want to do or what his final wishes would be, that is why it is so important to talk about this.
I want to help families who are going through a loss like I am, give them hope and to know that their truly is a light at the end of that very dark tunnel. I have been asked many times how I can go and talk about what happened and isn’t it hard? My reply is how can I not go and share this amazing story. Yes it was a terrible tragedy but because of Nick’s gift of life others are living, others are with their family members and are here today because of him and that’s pretty amazing! I promised myself that I would keep his memory alive and that our children would never forget their dad and that is where I get my strength from.
I never stopped living, my life went on without Nick and as difficult as that way I knew it is what he would want for me. I met my now husband Dexter three years after Nick passed away. He came into our life and was a breath of fresh air, accepting all of our challenges, sadness and tears at times. We welcomed a baby boy Brennan and our family was complete. Life didn’t turn out the way I had ever expected it would and even though we miss Nick every moment of every day we are happy to say he is a true hero and he will never be forgotten.