Ryan & Heather McNamara

Ryan & Heather McNamara

Ryan and Heather McNamara already had two daughters when Heather became pregnant with their third child- a boy. They were very excited and decided to name him Patrick. But during a routine ultrasound, the doctors made a heartbreaking discovery. Their baby had anencephaly, a condition in which the baby’s skull and brain don’t develop fully, preventing the baby from surviving birth.

Ryan and Heather sought answers to the only question that gave them hope: “If we decided to carry to term, would organ donation be a possibility?” After meeting with CORE, Heather and Ryan began to seriously explore organ donation as an option.

Over the next 4 months, Heather and Ryan made it their mission to celebrate Patrick’s life at every opportunity possible. From simple things like routine doctor’s appointments, Pirates games, beach vacations — they documented each moment with a camera and a chalk board. This helped them, and their daughters, to understand and celebrate his life while they could.

When delivery day came, the McNamara’s spent what precious little time they had with their son. Now a strong advocate for organ and tissue donation, Ryan McNamara says, “We hope that our family’s story of donation moves just one other person to consider donation. That one donation can spark hundreds more to do just the same. We look forward to continuing to celebrate Patrick’s life each year.”

Register today to be an organ donor and your story goes on and on.