BRAIN DONATION – MAYO CLINIC
At some point during this time, I decided to donate Alan’s brain for research. Don’t ask me where this idea came from, it just did, so I went with my gut instinct. If by doing this, it could in some way help others, I know that’s what he would have wanted. I researched several places online, and then discussed it with Celisa the Clinical Social Worker who runs the Support Group Meetings at Morton Plant Hospital. She recommended the Mayo Clinic, who run the Brain Bank for the State of Florida, and so I made contact with them. They were very helpful and understanding, and sent me all the documentation; which I have to say, put me in a surreal state – I was sitting next to my dear, dear man filling out all the forms for someone to cut out his brain – at times I felt like a monster. After it was done, and everything was in the mail to them, I decided to make a brief movie – a compilation of my husband’s life, so the Neuropathologist could get an essence of the man. How could Dr. Dickson who would eventually perform this surgery have any idea who Alan was? – his values, his ethics, his humor, love of life, talent, intellect and compassion. He would just be seeing a brain laying before him, a lump of flesh, nothing else. Alan, never liked having his photo taken, so I have very few precious photographic memories; fortunately everything is forever contained in my heart. However, I did manage to put together a short movie, and overlaid the photos with music, so that Dr. Dickson could see how a once active, vibrant man could be reduced to a brain on a slab before him, tissues and tangles, a sample in a lab. This wasn’t just anyone – this was my husband, the love of my life – my soul mate.