West Linn mom: Maddi lives on through organs

West Linn mom: Maddi lives on through organs

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by Erica Heartquist, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 5:46 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 24 at 4:39 PM

WEST LINN, Ore. -- Two weeks ago her 17-year-old daughter was killed in a car crash.

Now, a West Linn mom is encouraging others to do what her daughter did: donate organs to help save the lives of others.

Carrie Higgins has been spending the last two weeks sharing countless memories of her 17-year-old daughter, Maddi. Like the day she got her driver's license and made a very important decision to become a donor.

"They ask you right there 'do you want to be a donor?' She didn't know what that meant, so she turned around and looked at me and said, 'What do you think mom?' and I said 'well, I'm a donor.' " Higgins said.

Higgins said she had no idea that a year and a half after Maddi signed up she would die in a car accident.

More: Mother finds comfort in child's organ donations

"She kind of just became a silent champion for the cause. She was never a banner waiver by any means, but [she] would talk about it among family," Higgins said.

On June 8, Maddi was with her boyfriend Hayden Soyk, 18, when his car hit a power pole.

Soyk died from his injuries that night. Maddi died the next day.

After she passed, the hospital asked her mom if she wanted a mold of her daughter's hands.

"Now I can hold her hand forever," she said.

Soon after Maddi's death, Carrie Higgins posted on Facebook about the importance of donating organs and she received a message from her cousin in Prineville, Oregon.

"He had contacted me to let me know that he believed he knew where the lungs had gone," she said.

Then another message came in from a longtime friend who said Maddi's heart likely went to a friend in California.

"Which is consistent with what the hospital had told me. The heart was going to Los Angeles and her lungs were going to Seattle," she said.

So now while Carrie holds onto the mold of her daughters' hands others have the gift of life thanks to Maddi.

"My daughter can live on and that's enormous. Knowing in this time when you can barely get out of bed, knowing that my daughter provided life to somebody else is amazing," she said.

Carrie said she plans to follow the proper channels and reach out to her daughter's organ recipients, even meeting them if they're willing.

 

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