Recipient Updates & Communication

Many families are curious to learn about the recipients of their loves one's gifts and some look forward to directly communicating with them, possibly even meeting one day.

Within the first month of donation, you'll receive information about the outcome of the organ and tissue donation, and a brief description of the recipients who received the donated organs. Because donation is anonymous, this information will not include the names of the recipients. 

Donor families can request updates on their loved one’s recipients at any time by contacting the Aftercare team at 402-733-1800.


Communicating with Recipients

Donor families and recipients are encouraged to reach out to each other when they feel ready. You do not need to wait until you hear from the recipient before you write. 

The identities of the recipients and the donor family are kept confidential until both parties agree to release personal information about themselves and are willing to accept personal information about the other.

WRITING THE LETTER

Initial communication between donor families and recipients is limited to written correspondence.

You may choose to send a greeting card, personal letter, or photos. You may also include letters from other members of your family with your letter. Whatever method you choose, please consider the following suggestions as a guide to help with your correspondence.

Greeting the Recipient

  • Address the letter "Dear Recipient:"
  • If you decide not to include your first name, simply close the letter with "Donor's Spouse," "Donor's Daughter," etc.

What to Include

  • The age and gender of your loved one
  • Information about your loved one's family—marital status, children or grandchildren
  • Your loved one's job or occupation (do not mention his or her employer), hobbies or interests
  • If you are open to future correspondence from the recipient

DO NOT INCLUDE

  • Any last names (yours or your loved one's)
  • Location information
  • Contact information
  • Any reference to Nebraska or Nebraska Organ Recovery

If any of this information is included, it will be removed.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Make sure any photos you send do not include identifiable information which might be visible on clothing, license plates, signs, etc.

Sending Your Letter

When ready to send your letter, please follow these steps:

  1. Place your card or letter in an unsealed blank envelope. Do not place a stamp or write your return address or your full name on this envelope.
  2. Place a separate piece of paper with the donors' full name, and your full name, in the unsealed envelope.
  3. Place the unsealed envelope into another envelope addressed to: Nebraska Organ Recovery Aftercare, 8502 West Center Road, Omaha, NE 61824.

Allow extra time for review and forwarding of your correspondence. A Nebraska Organ Recovery staff member will review your letter to ensure confidentiality guidelines have been observed. Next, it is mailed to the recipient's transplant center and forwarded to the recipient from there.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE RECIPIENT

Every recipient's story is different and their response to receiving your loved one's gift of life will be unique to them as well. The recipients will normally say that writing to their donor family is the most difficult thing they have ever done. While the recipients are grateful for the gift, some may take several months or even years before they feel comfortable writing to their donor family. Some recipients never write.