Tiny Donor Continues to Reveal Her Legacy
Part two of an amazing story, the impact of infant donor Sophia Olivia. Jessica Roth, director of donation at LifeGift, shares Sophia’s continued legacy from her perspective:
Just as I believed July 10, 2017, would be the one day I could never forget, I was stunned to find myself part of another powerful story all set in motion by one young mother and a tiny little girl. Sophia Olivia may not have lived a long life, but her legacy has already revealed itself in the most enormous way.
Aug. 1, 2017, was a busy day for the LifeGift staff at Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center. We had multiple donor cases and not enough coordinators to manage all of them. To help, I jumped in and took one of the donor assignments, unaware of what was about to happen.
Although this wasn’t among my usual responsibilities, I didn’t mind. It’s always nice to get back to my roots once in a while.
As the day progressed, it was obvious the donor cases would continue well into the night, which meant I would be working into the night as well. Unassuming, I entered the donor’s room to find a young woman and her daughter sitting by his bedside. I said hello and they both paused, creating a short moment of almost awkward silence followed by a hello. The young woman began quietly talking with her daughter; she spoke Spanish so I didn’t pay much attention to the conversation.
Her daughter said, “My mom wants to ask you a question … It is you, right? You took care of Ally and baby Sophia?” I was stopped in my tracks, stunned and unsure of how they knew this. I said, “Yes, that was me. How did you know about that?” She explained that baby Sophia’s father was her cousin and also the nephew of the donor that we were taking care of.
I suddenly realized the impact a tiny little girl whose life was cut so short had still managed to impact the lives of so many, and this family was paying it forward. Touched by Sophia’s gift, they were given HOPE, which propelled them to make the decision to save lives through donation.
As I stood speechless and overcome by the chance to be part of the creation of another infinite legacy, the young woman smiled and said as best she could in English, “I am glad you are here.”
Organ and tissue donation intersects lives, in ways that are often unimaginable.