Wife of a donor
Jackie Kelble lost her beloved husband, Dave, in 2012.The couple has two children together, Brooke and Tyler. Dave was in a traumatic accident several days before Thanksgiving 2012, while cutting down a tree. He was only 32 years old when he died.
“Thanksgiving is a hard time for me. We used to go to the Hatboro Parade every year, and I still haven’t been able to go since he died. The last pictures I have of him were at that parade.” said Jackie.
Although losing Dave has been emotionally challenging for Jackie and her close-knit family, she has found one comfort in her grief – Dave’s decision to be an organ and tissue donor. He was able to save and enhance many lives through his selflessness, and his legacy is as a life-saving hero.
“He was an organ donor on his license, but even if he wouldn’t have been – we would have known it was what he wanted. He lived his life that way. He was a volunteer firefighter and he loved to help people. Everyone who ever met him said what a great guy he was. He worked really hard – many long hours – to take care of his family and allow me to stay home and care for our kids.” said Jackie.
For Jackie and her family, knowing that Dave saved many lives is the “silver lining” in a very tragic situation.
“Dave being a donor has brought me healing. It has also helped me to share our story and meet other organ transplant recipients through Gift of Life. It means a lot to me to hear their stories, and to see how grateful they are.” said Jackie.
The Kelble’s choose to focus on the positive and celebrate Dave’s life each year in the spring. His birthday, April 27th, is a special day for Jackie, her children, family and friends. They gather to honor him and have a big birthday party.
“He loved ice cream cake, so we have a party and get a cake. We write messages on balloons and release them.” she said.