Tom Cowan, A Wonderful Man

A tribute from Candy Cowan, Tom's wife

My husband Tom Cowan died on July 3, 2019. I met Tom 22 years ago and we were married on July 3, 1998 in Maui.

Tom stepped right into his role as Husband and Father to my (our) 3 grown children, Peter, Amy and Karen. If you ever dreamed of a fairytale love story, that was ours.

He was kind, generous, funny and a perfect man. We were so happy and had a great life. He worked in the cable industry and even has a patent for some of his inventions! Respected by everyone who met him. He was a wonderful person and I am so lucky he came into our lives.

Several years ago Tom developed diabetes, which led to kidney failure and eventually PD dialysis. He never once complained about his situation. We went to his dialysis meetings together and because he did his dialysis while he was sleeping, he was able to do all of his normal activities during the day. We could travel, go boating, etc. To look at him, you would never know he was sick.

We began a campaign to find him a living donor. We had shirts made up with information about Tom’s plight. One of those shirts found us a living donor who was a perfect match. We needed one more test before the transplant, which was an angiogram. The day of the test he was in great spirits, always clowning around. The test results were not good and they told us he needed open heart surgery and they prepared to take him to a hospital downtown in Chicago for the procedure. Tom coded on the table and even though they took him downtown, he lost brain activity by morning.

The staff called us in for a meeting and we made arrangements to end his life. I asked about organ donations and they told me because of his kidneys etc., we could not donate. Words came out of my mouth from somewhere, and I asked, well, what about his skin and eyes? Another advocate stepped in and made the arrangements.

Because of my request, he was able to donate to over 39 people through Gift of Hope. His eyes were donated to someone in Nebraska. I would love to contact the recipient if possible. How thankful I am that we were able to change so many lives because of this wonderful man. Thank you to Eversight for your work at changing the lives of so many people.