In his 24-year career as a pediatrician, Dr. John Bancroft has treated thousands of children. But the story of one young girl, whom he treated more than 10 years ago, has stayed with him.
The girl's condition was dire -- a sudden onset of liver failure -- and her family's hopes hinged on an organ transplant. But a donor for the girl could not be found before her condition had advanced too far for intervention.
Upon her death, the girl's family asked that their daughter's organs -- her kidneys and pancreas -- be offered for donation so that others could have an improved chance at life.
As Dr. John Bancroft told his own daughter, Carolyn, recently in New York, it was the gift of life, as much as his patient's death, that has stuck with him.
This piece was produced for 'Morning Edition' by Michael Garofalo.