• Giving Life in Death - One Mother's Story

    December 17, 2018

    At some point while she was in college, Kayla Urrey of Middleburgh signed an organ donor card. Her mother Jennifer doesn’t know exactly when Kayla made that decision, but learned of it when her daughter died from a blood clot that travelled to her lungs March 20, 2016. Kayla was 22 years old.

    “They brought her back, gave her clot-busting drugs and took her to the ICU. She was young and healthy. We thought she’d pull through,” recalls Jennifer.

    Four days later, Jennifer’s daughter was pronounced clinically brain dead.

    “I had decided to donate her organs because I knew that’s what she would have wanted. Then I learned she was already on the organ donor registry after having signed up in college. She was able to save four lives.”

    Kayla not only gave the gift of life to four people, she also gave the gift of sight and more. She was able to donate both kidneys, her liver and pancreas as well as bone, tissue and her corneas.

    “I have received letters from one of her cornea recipients, her kidney recipients and the man who received her pancreas,” says Jennifer. “He told me he suffered from severe diabetes and was planning his own funeral until Kayla saved him.”

    Today, not only is Jennifer on the organ donor registry but so are many friends and neighbors. Even strangers took action after learning how Kayla, a full-time nursing student and mother of a three-year old when she died, was still able to help others in such a meaningful way.

    “I live in a small town and once Kayla’s story got out, I’d say almost everyone in town is now an organ donor.

    “My child is gone, but if someone else can benefit it’s a light in your darkest day. She’s not going to be forgotten, there will always be someone out there who is grateful. You could be the rainbow at the end of a very dark cloud.”

    Jennifer Urrey encourages everyone to think about the gift of life and discuss the topic with loved ones well in advance of having to make a decision. Visit the Donate Life website www.dlnys.org.