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Tragedy to Triumph – The Story of Tom’s Heart provides an up close personal look at the journeys of two individuals facing death as they present their individual perspectives as the donor family and the recipient.

This story recounts the harrowing and heart-wrenching tragedy that struck Tom and his family.  At the worst moment any family should ever have to deal with, the parents said yes to organ, eye, and tissue donation so the lives of others could be saved and enhanced.  As Tom’s mom, it offered me hope in the midst of despair, a purpose in the midst of tragedy and light in the midst of the darkest night of my life.

By saying yes to donation, another mother and family did not have to wonder, wait or face the death of their son, brother or friend. Pete Radigan, who was in end stage heart failure at Columbia Hospital, unsure if he would live or die received Tom’s heart, the gift of life.

This is their story…


A narrative, harrowing in its details, that could have ended in despair, but instead lights the way to an elevation of the human spirit. A heart-breaking but inspiring story.

~ Reg Green, donor father, “The Nicholas Effect” and “Nicholas’ Gift”

Your story about the miracle witnessed in your gift of life is so inspiring and meaningful, especially during these trying times when we all need to see more of the goodness in people all around us. The connection you have developed with your donor’s family is extraordinary and tells a magical story that has truly been life-changing!

~ David C. Mulligan, MD, FACS Immediate Past President, UNOS/OPTN, Professor and Chair, Division of Transplantation Yale-New Haven Health Transplantation Center Yale University School of Medicine


Donate Life America is proud to be included in this beautiful story of hope and perseverance. We are grateful to Peter and Janet for sharing their personal stories while also putting action behind their words in promoting the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. 

~  Karen Headley, Vice President, Partnerships & Philanthropy at Donate Life America