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Donor Hero: Louise Lowe


by John Lowe

My “beautiful” wife, Louise, passed away at the age of 44 in April 2014. Louise would have wanted to help as many people as best she could. Louise was an extraordinary and special woman and the most fabulous mother of two wonderful boys. One has recently finished university and his younger brother has recently enrolled at Latrobe University. They both adored their mother, and their lives revolved around her. The hugs, joy, laughter and special moments that we all shared were something to behold. Louise lived for her boys and they were her true joy in life! Her favourite time of year was Christmas. That special family time, particularly with the boys, was especially important to Louise. The love in our home grew at that time of year. It was as if her love for everyone increased even more.

It was our tradition to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” together every Christmas eve. I have kept this tradition going with Louise’s parents. It is something that I will continue to do as a constant reminder of Louise, family, and love. The boys were always spoilt with gifts every Christmas. Christmas lunch was a massive event and Louise was the biggest over caterer. Our family would all gather round with a huge baked ham and an even bigger roast turkey that we had cooked together. All the trimmings were there, including home-made Christmas puddings that Louise made using her grandmother’s recipe. Presents were shared, laughter was constant, and everyone had a very fat tummy by the end. Louise was a chocoholic, and I do mean an extreme chocoholic! We could eat a large packet of peanut M&Ms on our own. Easter was an especially important “chocolate” holiday for us. One year our eldest boy lost all his Easter chocolate, as Louise decided that she needed more. Over a few days she ate all his chocolate from his personal Easter basket. Louise eventually had to buy him more to make up for it – then helped him eat all of that too!

Louise was a psychologist. She had started her doctorate when she passed away. It was her dream to be called Doctor Louise, but unfortunately it was the one big thing that she was not able to tick off her bucket list. Helping others as a counsellor was something that Louise enjoyed immensely. She had the ability to see the good in everyone, and at the same time she was able to touch everyone in a very personal and loving way. Louise was a positive influence on so many others she met. She had a gift that is impossible to describe and had a way of touching people that I have never seen before. Even the ambulance officers that treated Louise came to the ICU to see how she had fared. They were visibly touched by her in the hour they met her and were noticeably upset when they found out that she was going to pass away. People who met Louise described her as an angel. Louise was a princess. It was impossible for her to leave the house without makeup, or her hair being done. Her hair dryer was the most used electrical item in the house. The boys were regularly late to school just because Louise took so long to get ready in the morning. She wouldn’t even go to the letterbox without being properly dressed. She hated the rain as her hair was naturally curly and the thought of her hair getting wet and all frizzy drove her crazy. Louise carried spare umbrellas everywhere, including at least three in her handbag!

Like all of us, Louise also had a couple of imperfections. She had problems with pronouncing certain words, such as ambliance (ambulance), ridiclious (ridiculous), and binocliars (binoculars) just to name a few.

We loved to travel. Paris and Ireland were two places that Louise loved beyond any other. She could have lived in either place quite happily. Her ancestry was Irish, and she was “at home” when we went to Ireland for the first time on our honeymoon. Paris was her spiritual home. I cannot wait to return there. I am sure she will be waiting there for me. I called Louise beautiful the first day we met. That ended up being my nickname for her throughout our relationship – BEAUTIFUL. She remains that way in my heart and always will. She was beautiful on the outside, but so much more on the inside. I was the most privileged of men to call Louise my wife. Our family have been able to move on, but those certain dates in our personal lives will always bring up emotions about Louise. They are not always sad; in fact, we try to remember the good times and the laughter as much as possible.

On behalf of Louise, I can ask you only one thing, make your life extraordinary! Be the best that you can be in everything you do. Love and cherish those around you every single day. Tell those that you love how you feel every chance you get. Get out and enjoy everything that this wonderful world has to offer. Travel, live, and experience something new every day that you can. LOVE someone with all your heart & soul. I do not feel guilt, or anger, or sadness because Louise’s donor recipients are alive. They uplift me, and our family, by being here. They give me strength. They give me a reason to go on, to smile and be happy.

We ask that all recipients honour Louise and all other donors by living your life to the fullest. You are alive, so live! Hopefully Louise has made it possible for some of you to live out your dreams, as she did with everyone she met while she was with us. Do not let any guilt stand in your way. There should be no guilt. Live life, smile, be happy, and most importantly, love! Never, ever, stop loving. By loving, you give Louise and all our family love in return.


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