“I merely just wanted somebody else to live. Because nobody deserves to suffer“
It’s always inspiring when someone steps up to become an organ donor. There are countless heartwarming stories of family members donating to their relatives, or to strangers with a common blood type.
Even more motivational is the story of Rebecca LaSalle, a 24-year-old woman from Montana, who decided to do something very few people do: she became an “altruistic donor.”
She decided to donate part of her liver, not knowing or caring who the recipient would be.
It’s an incredibly selfless decision to sacrifice an organ to save someone’s life without being asked.
Even more remarkably, LaSalle had already donated an organ anonymously two years ago: her kidney. But she recently made the decision to give back once again with a liver donation.
“I merely just wanted somebody else to live,” LaSalle told CBS News. “Because nobody deserves to suffer.”
LaSalle’s altruistic nature was inspired by her mother.
“Before I could walk to school when I was a little girl … she would say, ‘Make the world’ and you had to say ‘a better place.’ And you would always groan it out,” LaSalle said of her mom.
“But it was something that actually she did instill in me, and I do want to make the world a better place.”
However, donating a second organ was not a decision made lightly.
While LaSalle was eager to give back, others had reservations: “There’s very few people in the world who have donated part of their liver and a kidney,” said Dr. Elizabeth Pomfret of the University of Colorado Hospital.
She explained that only 4 percent of liver donations were living, and an even smaller percentage of that was from altruistic donors. LaSalle’s was an extraordinary case.
Pomfret said that prior to the surgery LaSalle had to be “evaluated by a psychiatrist and a social worker and a nurse coordinator,” but was given the OK to go through with the surgery.
“It was her demeanor and her passion and her conviction and her maturity,” Dr. Pomfret told CBS.
The surgery was a success, and for the second time in two years, LaSalle donated an organ to save a total stranger’s life.
Six months later, she returned to the hospital for a checkup—and had a very special visitor.
She met the patient she saved: a 6-month old boy.
The boy’s name was Manolo. Shortly after he was born, doctors noticed he was lethargic and unable to eat solid food. They realized he had a life-threatening condition causing his liver to fail.
His only hope was a liver transplant—and thankfully, LaSalle had given up part of hers.
Manolo’s mother, Samantha Gonzales, said her son did “a complete 180” immediately after the surgery.
When LaSalle finally met Manolo and his mother, it was an emotional moment.
In tears, Gonzales told LaSalle that she had gone through a very difficult time with Manolo’s health, but her altruism restored her faith:
“I had, like, lost faith in any kind of good person out in the world,” she told her. “There’s no words I can express to you how thankful I am for what you’ve done.”
But for LaSalle, there was no need for words.
“I don’t ever want you to have to feel indebted or feel like you have to say thank you because he deserved it,” LaSalle told Gonzales.
Instead, LaSalle had a gift for the family.
She gave them a note she wrote for Manolo, to inspire him when he’s older.
LaSalle gave some words of wisdom to the young boy whose life she saved—and echoed her own mother’s words, hoping that Manolo will pay it forward and do things for others, too.
“I hope that this opportunity will inspire you to help others to make the world a better place,” LaSalle wrote.
Source: Theepochtimes .