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Personal Stories

Hero Tribute – Maggie’s Story

Imagine… you’re sitting quietly watching TV or you’re on your computer or just reading a book… and a door slams open! In shuffles Maggie and she sits on your lap and kisses you on the face!

Maggie loved unconditionally. She never spoke a word but said so much. She looked at you with big blue eyes and had the sweetest smile that said. “Let’s be friends”. That feeling when you take a step outside and the wind is so strong it takes your breath away…That’s what it was like when you met Mags.

Maggie had long reddish blonde curly hair with a nose kissed with freckles. She could be found sitting in the grass or dirt whenever possible (waiting for the bus, going to the drive, etc.). She also had stinky feet that I will never get to smell again. I loved those stinky feet!

She spread love and sunshine wherever she went. Even in her sickest days, she spread love and sunshine.

The day my Mags passed away was four years ago. It was on a regular fall Saturday morning. I always loved Saturdays, it was our cuddle day! Saturdays were our day to watch TV, cuddle and have breakfast in bed. That morning, I noticed it was too quiet… I went in with our breakfast but Mag’s didn’t roll over to greet me with her big blue eyes and sweet smile like normal.

The ride to the hospital was the longest trip I’ve ever experienced. At the hospital, Mags was pronounced dead. I made calls to family and friends and people started coming to say their goodbyes. Her teachers, friends, family, and even her school administration came to be with her one last time. People wanted to have one more chance to be around her love and sunshine.

When it was time to leave I felt like I was struck with a lightning bolt at that minute. I knew that Maggie could save a life. She could continue helping others through donation. My husband and I made the decision to have her be an organ donor. We are both registered organ, eye and tissue donors and had a friend that was a living donor. We felt that Maggie would want to help others even though she was able to speak for herself.

We said YES!

We continue to spread love and sunshine in her honor. We celebrate life every day! We speak her name every day. We tell people she is a hero. She gave the gift of sight to two men in New Zealand and is a part of research for wheelchairs and child safety seats. She gave other people to ability to walk again because of her tissue donations. She is a part of an extensive study to help doctors understand SUDEP.

You have the power to give the gift of life, the gift of sight to see their loved ones and to shower people with love and sunshine by making the decision to be an organ, tissue, and eye donation.

Thanks to Maggie’s mom Kathy for sharing her story. 

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