From award-winning author, Gary Shelly, comes a story that simply must be told…
The phone call informing Sarah Nealle that her six-year-old daughter, Amy, has been in a school bus accident sends her on a journey she could never have imagined nor planned for. Doctors. The ICU. An epidural hematoma. Respirators. Apnea tests. Nationwide publicity. A mogul who wants to buy her daughter’s heart. The grieving mother on television begging for a liver to save her son. Hospitals that fight over a first-grader’s body. Relatives seeking revenge. A conspiracy to end organ transplants. The hero who can’t save his own son. A ninety-two-year old who brings wisdom and peace, together with a reporter who reveals her own story.
Then, the lonely decision of how to let her daughter die with dignity and perhaps fulfill a mission Amy would’ve volunteered for. Will her family provide support? Might those who wait for organs applaud? Can someone who faces this impossible choice in the future learn from her? Would Amy be proud? How does one measure what is best and what is not when nothing makes sense?
“Do you know a Mrs. Snilling?”
“Dorothy Snilling? Liver?”
“Nearly scared the life out of me. She was waiting for me when I got home.”
“This doesn’t sound good.”
“She wants me to run a print campaign for her.”
“You’re not going to, I presume.”
“She lives in a damn motor home parked in a hospital parking lot in the middle of winter hoping somebody finds a liver for her son before he dies. Why shouldn’t I help her when she asks?”
He sighed. “You know why. It’s the same issue as Feiner.”
“This woman lives in a R.V. Feiner wants to build you a new hospital.”
Elliott shook his head. “Only the strategy’s different. Money or the media. They’re both trying to make an end run around the system. I thought you understood that based on last night’s conversation.”
“But this feels different.” Fly sat in one of the patients’ chairs. “On the one hand, a rich guy’s trying to buy something the rest of us can’t afford. It’s easy for me to say no to him. Besides, it’s ghoulish, selling body parts to the highest bidder.
“Mrs. Snilling, on the other hand, is dying along with her son.” Fly lowered her eyes, as if the visit had affected her more than she’d realized. “You should see her face. Waiting for that liver is torture at its worst. She’s helpless.”
“You’re right. But so is everyone who woke up this morning hoping an innocent person dies a violent death so a heart, or liver, or kidney becomes available.”
Fly stared at him. “My God, that is what they must do. I’ve never thought of it like that.”
“Those waiting do. Everyday. I’ve had patients tell me they watch people on motorcycles dart in and out of traffic, and then say a prayer that their heart just passed them on the thruway.”
“But they merely sit home and do nothing?”
“Like they’re supposed to. And they die. Or their child dies. Or their mother or father. They lose precious life because they play by the rules. But we also save many lives. If the system became a free-for-all, we would save fewer. It wouldn’t work. That’s why Mrs. Snilling can’t be allowed her front-page headlines.”
“There’s only one way to change this, isn’t there? So Mrs. Snilling doesn’t have to sit in that parking lot with a dying son.”
“Sure. Enough organs. But there’s little likelihood —”
You can purchase Dying to Give at:
Gary Shelly lives in Southern California and now spends his time creating stories instead of writing computer textbooks. His first novel, Dying to Give, explores the quandary of a family struck by an unthinkable tragedy.
He has extensive experience as a computer programmer and systems analyst, a textbook author, a Series 7-licensed stock broker, a lawyer and member of the California bar, a pilot of his Bonanza single-engine aircraft, a 14-handicap golfer, a husband, a father, and a grandfather.
When he’s not writing, Gary spends time with family and pays close attention to the world of sports. Any sport. A season-ticket holder for the Los Angeles Angels, he has participated (with questionable skill) in various sports including baseball, football, basketball, skiing, darts, bowling, foosball, ice hockey, curling, horse racing (betting, that is), body surfing, and, of course, golf. The most fascinating golf course he ever played was the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. He even sponsored an A-Fuel Dragster once-upon-a-time.
To support organ donation, from his first novel’s royalties he will gift $2 to Donate Life America for each ebook sold, and $1 for each print book sold. If you have not already done so, a visit to donatelife.net might be enlightening for you.
You can also learn more about Gary online at:
A PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF DYING TO GIVE WILL TO TO DONATELIFE.NET