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April is Donate Life Month – see how an organ donor can really make a difference



April is Donate Life Month. It is a time to focus on the renewal of life in spring, and the hope given by the gift of organ donation.

On March 5, 2018, there were two mothers who would never see her. One mother mourned the death of her daughter, while the other remembered the day her life was saved.

Lydia Stewart from Amanda, Ohio, was 18 when she died on March 5, 2017 as a result of a motorcycle accident. She was a registered organ donor, and she saved three lives through organ donation, restored the sight of two individuals by corneal donation, and healed countless others through her gift of tissue donation.

One of the lives she saved was 38-year-old Andrea Taylor from Groveport, Ohio. Andrea received Lydia's heart after many years of health struggles, strokes, and the inability to look after her baby son.

After Lydia's tragic death and Andrew's miraculous transplant, Lydia's mother Kelly attacked the person who had her daughter's daughter's heart. The donation is an anonymous process, and little did she know that she and her daughter had already met the heart receiver when Lydia was still alive.

The Backstory

In 201

1, at a stranger's flea market, Kelly bought a camper for her family. About a year later, while Kelly and Lydia were eating at a local restaurant, a woman came up to them. She said hello, introduced herself as Andrea and reminded Kelly that she had bought the camper from her parents. It was this chance encounter in which Lydia and Andrea met briefly. The families would not know that six years later their lives would grow together forever.

The Gift

24. February 2017 Lydia was involved in a motorcycle accident. For over a week, the doctors tried everything they could to save her, but unfortunately she was declared brain-dead on March 5, 2017.

Just a few miles away, Andrea was at home on the national transplant waiting list for a new heart.

Since Andrea and Lydia came from the same area in central Ohio, Andrea heard through the grapevine of a girl from the area involved in a motorcycle accident. Without knowing many details, Andrea prayed for the girl and her family. [Margitona] On March 6, 2017, Andrea got the call she was desperately waiting for – a heart was available. She had no details but wrote a prayer request for possible transplantation on her Facebook page. Mutual friends wondered if Andrea could get Lydia's heart.

At 7:05 pm on March 7, 2017, Andrea's new heart beat in her chest. Again, with no details about her donor, Andrea wrote a letter to the family in which she expressed her immense gratitude.

Miles away, Kelly felt compelled to write a letter to Lydia's recipient, whoever that person may be, to tell them about her precious daughter. The initial correspondence between the donor families and the recipients will be provided by Lifeline of Ohio to protect the confidentiality of the gift.

At Easter 2017, just a few weeks later, both families received the letters they had unknowingly written [19659002] After a short period of tossing, Andrea and Kelly expressed their desire to meet. On May 22, 2017, Kelly moved to Andreas's childhood home because he knew she had been there before!

When the families greeted each other, they quickly realized that they knew each other and remembered that Lydia and Andrea had been introduced to one another just a few years earlier during this chance encounter. Nobody could believe it – Kelly believes today that Lydia has surpassed herself in choosing Andrea as the recipient of her heart.

Now, Kelly takes Andrea to her transplant follow-up appointments at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center because she feels it's her way to still care for her daughter's heart. Andrea has continued to do a good job after the transplant, and thanks to Lydia's gift, she is able to keep up with her baby son.

Organ donors really make second chances possible. What can you enable? To register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, visit www.lifelineofohio.org or visit your local motor vehicle office.

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