“Kelly was riding her bicycle in Jacksonville, and she was hit by a car,” said Karl. “I know the doctors did their best to help her, but she was hurt very badly. Her injuries were so severe, she could not survive. It was devastating to me and my family.”
Kelly was eligible to be an organ donor and had joined Florida’s organ and tissue donor registry. Her gifts of liver, kidney and lung donation saved the lives of four people.
“We meet families on the worst day of their lives, and our first priority is helping them in every way we can,” said Terri McQuiddy, a clinical coordinator at LifeQuest. “We comfort them, answer all their questions, keep them totally informed of all that is happening and stay with them through the organ donation process. Each family is different. Whatever they need, we’re here.”
Kelly’s death came just before Thanksgiving in 2015. Karl says it was not always easy to keep his spirits up. What helped his family through their loss were letters from LifeQuest that shared information about how many people Kelly saved.
“After a while, it got even better as we received letters from recipients that share how grateful they are for the gifts they received from Kelly. All of our identities are protected right now, but we want to meet those who are willing to meet us when the time is right.”
Karl believes his volunteer work encouraging organ donation will lead to life-saving transplants for those who are waiting.
“Being a part of organ donation and the gift of life is a very, very powerful experience.”