Fairbanks mother shares experience of daughter’s gift of life

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 4:23 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - This week we have covered a variety of subjects surrounding organ donation as part of National Donate Life Month. To conclude our series, we spoke with a Fairbanks mother who knows firsthand what it’s like to have a family member give the gift of life.

“She’s just an amazing kid and she, she was an amazing kid.” These are the words of a mother’s love. Christy Curry is the mother of Kaylea Curry who gave the gift of life in 2015.

“Kaylea was very sweet,” Christy remarked. “She was kind, she was honest to a fault, she would say exactly what she thought even if it probably wasn’t the right thing to say at the time, but she was very loving, very creative, very quirky. We didn’t find out till after she passed away, but we had been giving her books and she loved to read the ‘Wings of Fire’ series, and she would take those books and she would donate them to her school library. She always helped the lunch ladies out, she was always the one I could go to, you know, like if any of my four daughters were fighting and I didn’t see it, I would just ask her and she would tell me exactly what happened. She was just the creative genius behind a lot of like family movies that my four girls would do and she’d be behind the camera, and you could hear her laugh. She was just a beautiful soul like an old soul, and yeah, she had a quirky smile.”

In 2015, Christy learned her daughter had a medical condition that would take her 10 year old daughter’s life quickly. While the decision for Christy was difficult, there was no doubt in her mind that this is what her daughter would have wanted. “I know that’s something that she would have wanted because she was definitely a warrior. She absolutely loved Link from The Legend of Zelda, and she didn’t want to be the princess, she wanted to be the warrior. If we had to ask her, I know that she would have said ‘yes, this is what I want to do.’”

Kaylea saved three people with her gift of life. She also helped two more people restore their sight. For her mother, knowing the good her gift has provided has helped with the grieving process. “Knowing that she’s making a difference and that other families are able to live on through her gift, it makes a difference in how I feel about organ donation. It makes you pay closer attention, I guess, to the value of life and your ability to make a difference even in that really difficult moment.”

While losing a child has changed her and her family’s life forever, Christy says it’s important to have an open and honest conversation about whether being an organ donor is right for you. “I hope it never happens to another family, but if it does it’s something that will be easier to approach or even just stop to think about in the moment.”

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