"This last gift" is an everlasting testament of her character Our beloved mother Khin was a woman with great talent, courage, dignity, compassion, and generosity. Her journey of life began on August 30, 1943. As a young girl, she attended all public schools in Burma, a former British commonwealth country, and actively participated in numerous athletic activities. She excelled in school and had a profound interest in medicine. When it came time for her to decide what career to pursue, she was not a bit fazed to enter a profession that was predominantly male back in the early ‘60s. Needless to say that she did not follow the traditional path of becoming a school-teacher as her family had wished.
After receiving her doctorate degree in medicine, she married my father to start a family and set up a medical clinic in a relatively underserved community. She selflessly gave her services and resources to the poor and to people of non-profit religious institutions regardless of their faith. At the missionary nearby, she was the only female physician for them to turn to for any medical needs. She enjoyed what she did and was compassionate towards everyone she came in contact with.
One evening in August of 2002, I was on the phone with Mom. As usual, she asked about my well-being and we chatted for over an hour about the weather, her potted plants, and her most recent activities. Everything was normal and we hung up. Little did she, I or anyone know that that was going to be our last conversation between us. A few hours after we talked, I received a call from my sister that my mother had been hospitalized and that she was critically ill. When I got to the bedside, even though the doctors had said she would not wake up again, it seemed as though she was just sleeping. She had multiple brain aneurysm ruptures and the bleeding had done extensive damage to the brain that she was no longer responsive to any of the clinical tests.
Those hours spent waiting at the hospital for the second neurosurgeon's analysis were very difficult. We prayed and hoped that she'd be able to come home with us should the second opinion be different. After long hours of agonizing over her condition, we heard the much-feared confirming results. Everything came crushing down including, our sanity, conscience and souls.
We were approached by an advocate from OneLegacy and briefed about consideration for donating her organs. The idea of having a chance to prolong, or even save, someone else's life really appealed our hearts even though we didn't want to take Mom off the life-support, especially not on the day before her 59th birthday. We asked ourselves what Mom would have wished to have done with her organs. There is no doubt that she had been a giver all her life, and in every single account of her givings, she never expected anything in return. After gathering our strength and judgment as much as we could, we consented for procurement of some of her organs. Her liver was the first organ that came to our thoughts since that was one much needed by our late father. We wanted someone's father, husband, wife, mother, daughter or son to have more time to spend with their loved ones.
The following day we said our final good-byes to Mom before the surgery. Yes, it was very painful for us to let her go on her birthday and still is. But along with these indelible memories is that someone got a chance to live because of Mom. As a physician, she had cared for so many people in her life and this last gift she made is an everlasting testament of her character.
In memory Dr. Daw Khin Myint
By the surviving family members.