In Memory of
Heather, the oldest of our four children was a care-giver from the start. She took control and was a “mom” to her siblings at an early age. She had an infectious smile and a contagious laugh. She seemed to find beauty in everything and enjoyed life. She loved music…there was not a song she didn’t know the words to. She had a tattoo on her foot of one of her favorites “here comes the sun”.
In March of 2008, at the age of 21, and just weeks away from graduating from the WVU School of Nursing, her life was tragically cut short. At approximately 12:30am on March 25, 2008, two deputy sheriffs were at my front door delivering the shocking news that would change my life forever. We were told to get to Ohio Valley Medical Center as soon as possible. There had been a crash. Heather was the passenger in a drunk driving crash. According to police reports, the offender/driver was traveling approximately 78 miles per hour in a 25-35 miles an hour posted speed limit, was driving wreck less and lost control of the vehicle, demolished a bus shelter, went airborne and the car rested on its roof in the hillside. The offender/driver climbed out the back window and fled the scene of the crash. Upon arrival back at the scene he failed all field sobriety tests and had a blood alcohol content of almost three times over the legal limit. Heather was left for dead at the scene and had no oxygen to her brain. She was partially ejected out of the window and had the weight of the car on top of her with her face in the dirt. Heather had to be extricated from the vehicle and went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital.
Upon arrival to the hospital she was placed in ICU with broken ribs, a broken clavicle, cuts and bruises, and a traumatic brain injury. Her whole body convulsed with seizures. The outlook was grim. She was hooked to every tube and machine imaginable. In true Heather fashion, a brain death test was performed mid-week and she passed the test. We were holding on to every hope. Her health and brain activity were steadily failing. Almost exactly one week after the crash, and after all life saving efforts were exhausted, Heather was declared brain dead on March 31, 2008. Heather left us the gift of hope. She was a registered organ donor. Through such a catastrophic event, there was a light. Heather gifted her heart, both of her kidneys, and her liver to complete strangers. She enhanced the lives of another 50 people through tissue donation. She is truly our hero. “Here Comes The Sun”
No greater gift, no greater love!
Never a day goes by, Mom