Tammie Sisemore, Donor Mom
In February of 2002, 16-year-old Charles “Robbie” Sisemore of Farmington, Arkansas was a passenger in a car that was part of a caravan. He and his friends were leaving a school event and were heading to a second location. Robbie never reached his destination. Instead, his parents, Rob and Tammie, received a phone call informing them that their son had been critically injured in an automobile accident. Tammie recalls seeing her son at the scene of the accident and feeling sure that he would be okay. What Tammie didn’t know was that Robbie had suffered a severe head injury and had lapsed into a coma. After being treated for several weeks in the hospital, Rob and Tammie made the decision to bring their son home. For four months, Tammie cared for Robbie day and night, always having faith that he would recover. Sadly, this would not happen; after returning to the hospital for a final surgery to attempt to improve his condition, Robbie succumbed to his injuries on May 15, 2002.
It was during this painful time that Robbie’s younger sister, Shae, reminded Rob and Tammie that it had been Robbie’s wish to become an organ and tissue donor at the time of his death. The Sisemores honored Robbie’s decision. His kidneys were donated to two recipients—one in Arkansas and one in Mississippi. His heart valves were also donated.
Tammie is a dedicated advocate of organ and tissue donation. She serves as Chair of the Arkansas Donor Family Council and is also a member of the ARORA Board of Directors.
Melva Shelby, Donor Mom
When Melva and Garland Shelby of Pine Bluff sent their 13-year-old son to school on an April morning in 2004, they could not have known about the tragic events that lay ahead for their family. Adron Shelby, nicknamed “Shorty,” was a vivacious 13-year-old boy, and an avid sports fan. He enjoyed playing football on his junior high team and was considered the life of any classroom. He was a stranger to no one. Adron suffered a fatal aneurysm while at school; sadly, there was no chance of recovery for Adron. Through their very personal pain and loss, the Shelbys made the decision to donate their son’s right and left kidney, liver, heart valves and corneas at Arkansas Children’s Hospital where he was transported following his illness.
Melva honors Adron’s memory through her continued support of organ and tissue donation as a member of the Arkansas Donor Family Council. She is also an active volunteer speaker for ARORA.