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Donor Stories

Tuesday’s Tale: Her Halo Wasn’t Always Straight

It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Seeing two State Highway Patrolmen standing on our front porch at 4 a.m., informing us that our daughter, Katie Lynn, had been involved in an automobile accident.

On June 29, 2005, Katie Lynn became an organ and tissue donor. She was able to give the Gift of Life.

Katie was 20 years old. She was a natural blonde, but that changed after she graduated from high school, and soon she was sporting short black hair, which at times could be blonde, red, or brown, depending on what mood she was in. As she frequently told us, she was expressing herself through her hair!

The first thing that you noticed about Katie was her eyes – they were the most beautiful piercing blue eyes. Everyone would always ask if she was a model, her look was so different. She was someone who made you want to take a second look.

She was her Daddy’s “Punkin,” and her Mom’s “Katiebug.”

She was our angel, but her halo was never straight! Perfect – not exactly. Lovable, funny, stubborn, opinionated – absolutely.

She loved her music, her art, and frogs. To call her a frog freak would be putting it mildly. Everywhere you looked in her room were frogs, frogs, and more frogs, of every size and description.

She had a magic that drew people to her. Her friends were her “other” family. She was devoted to them. She would stand beside them, through thick and thin. She never knew a stranger. It was true, she had her own demons, and at times was vulnerable, but that made those around her even more protective of her, and she of them. Maybe that was why people loved her so much.

She was president of her senior class, student council, ran track and played volleyball. Katie had been a 4-H member for 10 years; a member of the Jr. Leaders, Jr. Fairboard and 4-H Committee. She graduated 4th in her class, and was attending Ohio University with the hopes of becoming a criminal profiler.

Katie had one dream come true – being a member of the Marching 110 at Ohio University, playing the tenor saxophone. She loved going to school and everything that went with it. The campus life, the late nights with friends, marching at the football games, just being there. She said one time she wished she could stay in college forever because she felt so at home.

When she received her driver’s license, the lady at the desk asked if she wanted to be an organ donor. With no hesitation she said yes. She thought everyone should say yes, and proudly showed off her license and what she had decided to everyone she knew. She always wanted to help others, and this was just one more way that she could do that.

Her last act was a selfless one, one that makes us so proud of her today.

Someone asked me the other day, “why would you want to be a donor?” And I answered, “why wouldn’t you?”

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