When she was growing up, Rebecca “Becky” Goodwin dreamed of being a nurse.
She made those dreams come true as an adult, working in a wide range of hospital units and nursing jobs, from flight nursing to cardiac care and even home health, before she herself became a patient for the last 13 years of her life.
“She was just awesome. She was the love of my life — just perfect,” said her husband, Jim Goodwin. “When she ended up getting sick, my main thing was to keep her out of a nursing home. And I was successful in doing that.”
Becky, a lifelong San Antonian, suffered from complications of diabetes, gastroparesis and heart disease for the last years of her life and died in May 2020 at 69 years old.
But she was able to care for people even after death by becoming a tissue donor through South Texas Blood & Tissue. One person’s tissue donation has the power to heal up to 75 people in need of skin grafts, heart valve transplants, bone transplants and so much more.
“She wanted to donate her body, donate everything that could be used,” Jim said. “She was just such a giving person; I mean absolutely down to her core giving, so she gave all of herself.”
Becky was the consummate caregiver, and not just to people. As an animal lover, she fed the stray cats in her apartment complex, and she enjoyed visiting animals at shelters. She even took in homeless animals, including an 85-pound Great Dane named Ben.
An avid crafter, Becky could sew almost anything and enjoyed making clothes for her two daughters when they were little. In her later years, she participated in a weekly program called “Threads of Love” with her church in which she crocheted clothes for premature babies.
Jim was always amazed at the way that Becky cared for people. One Friday afternoon, Jim complained about having to change the brake cylinder in his car, when Becky said, “It’s already done.”
“She’s like, ‘I looked at the instruction book.’ She had changed the brake cylinder herself so that I wouldn’t have to do it,” he said.