Andrea is a 16 year old from Corsica, South Dakota who saved lives through donation after her death in the fall of 2011.
Sixteen year old Andrea had a sweet, fun-loving spirit. “Wherever she was, she always lit up the room and made people smile,” shares her father.
When Andrea applied for her first driver’s license she registered to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. She was proud of her decision, excitedly showing her siblings and her friends her new license when it arrived, saying “I’m a donor!”
No one could have predicted the tragedy that preceded her gifts of donation just a short while later. On November 1, 2011, Andrea lost control of her car while driving on an unfamiliar rural road and later died from her injuries.
After learning the news of their daughter’s death, LifeSource met with Andrea’s parents about considering organ donation and let them know Andrea registered on her driver’s license. Without a second thought, her parents honored Andrea’s wish to help others.
“I am so proud of her for doing this,” said Marlene, Andrea’s mother. “The accident was going to happen whether she marked donor or not. And, if she didn’t mark donor, look how many lives would have been lost because of it.”
Meeting Andrea’s Recipients
Two of the people Andrea saved were two year old Keegan – liver recipient – and twenty-nine year old Meleah – lung recipient. When Jeff and Marlene met Keegan and Meleah, they felt like they knew them already. They felt like Andrea was with them and could see how grateful both families were for the legacy Andrea left for others.
After hearing about Keegan’s challenges at such a young age, “it was an awesome feeling to see Keegan running around the room full of life like any other 2 and a half year old boy,” said Jeff, Andrea’s father.
Before her transplant, Meleah couldn’t walk 20 steps without having to stop and rest. And, now seeing her in excellent shape meant so much to Andrea’s family.
Because of Andrea’s decision to check the box, she saved the lives of five people through organ donation and provided the gift of tissue donation to many more across the country.