Threads of LIfe Quilt provides comfort, honor and celebration

This special quilt was stitched together because of organ donation.

BOISE - The Yes Idaho Threads of Life Quilt honors organ donors and celebrates the extended lives of organ recipients. Vicki Thomas started it about three years ago.  

"Idaho has never had one because we worked through Portland or Salt Lake," Thomas said.  
Each panel has a picture, a saying or a personal symbol of a donor or recipient. 

Vicki Thomas' son Andrew Jensen is represented on the quilt. A motorcycle accident took his life.

His two kidneys and liver saved three lives. 

"I think that's important for his children to know," Thomas said. "And I think that's a pretty good legacy."

Thomas says being an organ donor was just so Andrew, that his home and his life were open to everyone.   

She made the panel for Andrew. It was the first one for the quilt. Then she started working to collect squares from other families affected by organ donation, but the project stalled. 

Enter quilting expert Tina Stratford-Brown. 

"I said let's get this quilt done," Stratford-Brown said.  

They had never met, but they hit it off and the quilt came together.

Stratford-Brown also added a square. It shows her brother and nephew showing off their scars from surgery.  

"Oh yeah. They're rather proud of them," she said. 

In 2001, doctors transplanted half of her nephew's liver into her brother. "They're both doing very well."

It took 38 stories like Thomas' and Stratford-Brown's to complete the quilt. 

"Meeting the donor families was really interesting because, if you just sit and listen to them, it means a lot to them," Stratford-Brown said.

Thirty-eight stories of the importance of registering as a donor.

When asked what she believes the quilt represents, Thomas had a simple yet profound one-word answer.

"Love," she said.  

She and Stratford-Brown are now working on the 2018 Yes Idaho Threads of Life Quilt. If you would like more information on how to submit a square for an organ donor or recipient, you can visit the Yes Idaho! website

You can also find information there on organ, eye and tissue donation and how to register as a donor.   
 

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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