In April I posted about meeting my heart donor’s family. Now, I want to tell you a bit more about my actual heart donor himself.
Before I started working on this post, I checked with his parents to make sure they were okay with it. They approved and then, much to my surprise, told me there was a package in the mail for me. A few days later I received an amazing gift. Along with photos, I also received the video from my donor’s memorial service. I was eager to watch and learn more about the hero that saved my life.
Pastors stood behind a quilt covered podium topped with a picture of Chris and a candy bouquet for the notorious sweet tooth. I got to hear letters from his family members. The experience of watching this was very unique. It was hard to watch. A video featuring a little boy’s progression into a young man made me pause halfway through. Too much to take in one day. The love he had for his family shown deeply throughout the collection of pictures. Emotions I hadn’t experienced since meeting his family last summer bubbled to the surface again. I’ve said it before and I will say it again – it’s a lot.
Let Me Tell You About Chris
Christopher Allan Rogers was born on December 22, 1993 to Steve and Corrine Rogers. After waking up in the middle of the night knowing that Chris was on the way, they loaded into the car and headed to…get coffee. 🙂 After grabbing a 16oz double mocha coffee, they finally made it to the hospital and Chris arrived shortly thereafter.
Family was extremely important to Chris and during his childhood, there were many family adventures that grew his bond with his parents and siblings. Camping, clam digging, and trips to amusement parks like Silverwood and Disneyland were among their favorite activities. The Rogers had a lot of fun.
As Chris grew older, life got harder. His siblings moved out and started their own lives. Chris found it hard to find his place in the world. In their letters, his siblings said that he was attacked by the devil every day. Although he tried to fight it and stay positive when he could, he constantly struggled with the demons in his head.
Chris lost his life on January 6, 2018. His family had so much more they wanted to do with Chris, so much more they wanted to say. Now that he is gone, however, they have found solace in knowing that he has escaped the demons that had haunted him for so many years.
I will conclude with the letter for the donor surgical team written from Chris’s perspective by his brother, Brian.
For The Donor Surgical Team
January 6th, 2018
My name is Christopher Rogers but everyone who knew me called me Chris. I grew up the second youngest of five kids. As a child, I followed in my older siblings footsteps, from building jumps for our bikes in the side yard to building forts in our rooms, I always loved adventure. Fishing with my dad and snowboard with my brothers and little sister were only some of my favorite things to do.
As the years flew by and the family moved out, I struggled to find my path in life. As a young adult, life really became harder for me. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and although my family tried every option to help, it all became too much.
But it will never define who I was as a person. I loved my family so much and was always there to protect them and help watching over my young nieces and nephews. I loved playing video games and enjoyed drawing. I would always try to help around the house and in the garage fixing up cars with my dad. So even though my life has taken a devastating turn, I know the memory of me will always be forever cherished and remembered.
written by Brian for Chris