Katie's Story

A little over four years ago, my daughter came home from school and announced that she was calling a family meeting. She was a few months short of 18 years old. Her name was Alicia and she was determined. Earlier that day at school they had an assembly for the seniors, and several subjects were covered including blood donations for the Red Cross and the increasing need of organ donors.

I wasn't at the assembly, but they touched my daughter's heart and at her sense of duty. She literally marched in that night and after gathering the family, announced that no one should leave this world without giving another person a chance of life. She then passed out little pink dots, that we were to stick on the back of our drivers licenses and a small donor card she expected us to fill out immediately. She said it didn't matter how old, or sick, or worn out we might think we were. What mattered was that we didn't leave this earth without at least trying to help.

She couldn't have known that two weeks later that she would be the one we would be saying goodbye to. I almost didn't tell the hospital of her wishes, I had asked the rest of the family to go home, and I stayed behind to be with her when they turned off her life support. I walked my parents to their car, and as I reentered the hospital I overheard another family mourning their 18-year-old daughter who had just passed away because she never received the heart transplant she needed. A donor had never been found. I truly believe that Alicia wanted me to hear that conversation and it was then that I knew it never had been my decision to make. It had been Alicia's dying wish.

It was the last wish that I could grant her. I know she would be proud to know that other people are living better lives because of her. I know it gives me peace knowing that her request was honored. And I know she watches not only over us but over you also, and she is smiling.

May God keep you safe and happy.

With love from Alicia and her mom