Mom of Organ Donor and His Kidney Recipient Share Rare Bond
Steve Adubato sits down with Gail Clegg, Mother of Organ Donor Sean Clegg, and Melissa Coleman, Kidney Recipient, to discuss giving and receiving the gift of life, as well as their travels to the Rose Parade in California this year, where Sean was honored on the New Jersey Sharing Network’s float.
"Hi, I'm Steve Adubato. This is a very special edition of One on One. This is a one on two conversation, part of our ongoing series trying to educate and inform folks about organ and tissue donation. It is our honor to welcome Gail Clegg, who was the mother of Sean Clegg, who at 14 years of age, was in a terrible car accident. Became an organ donor 100 recipients. With skin and tissue, yes. And one of those recipients sitting on your left? That's my girl Melissa. I can introduce her. But I'd rather you do it. Melissa Coleman. Tell us about Melissa. Melissa, I call her my Energizer Bunny on steroids. I really am on steroids because I take transplant medication. I never met anybody with so much energy. But apparently, before she received Sean's kidney, she was close to death. Yeah. By the way, let's keep the camera rolling. We'll get a tissue for you. Okay. Thanks. Can you bring a tissue out if we could? So... you're always ready! Right! [laughter] Okay. She takes care of me. I want to clarify, Sean was, in fact, on a bike hit by a car 14 years of age. The decision... by the way, we're gonna put up information to organ... excuse me, The New Jersey Sharing... Patty, I'll take it. It's alright. I'll get this. So if you could just put it right there. Okay. So the Sharing Network information is up. Did you know about this organization? Did you know that this was a possibility? I knew... I knew about organ donation, but nobody I knew was a donor. Nobody was registered to be a donor. Nobody received an organ. It was just in the trauma unit at the hospital, after I understood what was going on, I asked a friend, "What can we do?" And this just came out of my mouth, believe it or not. Then I just decided it was what we wanted to do. What was the "it"? Give the Gift of Life to so many others? Make something positive come out of this tragedy. So I... he would... it was instant death. So there wasn't really a choice. There wasn't life support to keep him alive. There were no operations that could save him. He was gone. So we just decided to make this happen. And I really knew nothing about the process. I learned about the process with the Sharing Network at Cooper Hospital while we were going through it. Because you're there for two days, while they have him declared brain dead. And then they have to search..."