A man whose wife was pronounced legally brain dead has recounted the difficult experience of watching a loved one die, but said he has no regrets about his decision to donate her organs to transplant patients.

In an interview with Kyodo News, the 59-year-old man, who wished to remain anonymous, told of his experience and feelings about the death of his wife, 58, and his subsequent struggle to come to terms with it.

After suffering subarachnoid bleeding in April 2000, the man’s wife was legally pronounced brain dead at the Kyorin University Hospital in Mitaka, Tokyo, in accordance with the organ transplant law that took effect in October 1997.

“I originally hesitated, because I thought she might regain consciousness, but then I witnessed the judgment that confirmed her death,” he said.

He expressed gladness for the four recipients of his wife’s organs, which included her heart and liver.

He also said he was heartened by three letters of gratitude he had received from recipients through the Japan Organ Transplant Network.

He said his wife, whom he described as very caring, had specifically told him on her birthday in 1999 she wanted her organs donated in the event of her death.

The interview marks the second time that a family member of a brain-dead organ donor has spoken openly about the experience, following an interview with the family of a 61-year-old woman who died in November at a prefectural hospital in Hakodate, Hokkaido.

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