17-year-old saves 6 lives by donating organs

6:13 PM, Dec 26, 2010   |    comments
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Video: Transplant reunion

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"I could feel her hurt. I could feel her happiness. I could feel all of it."

No one had to tell her when her twin sister got in a car accident, or that Haley, who was 17-years and 2-months old, wouldn't wake up from the coma. She knew.

"She had the brightest green eyes. Brighter than anything else. I just looked in her eyes and I knew that light wasn't there."

"She had that red hair. So she had a red hair attitude," said Moore's father, Lee.

Three years later, that fire for life, is what her family misses most.

"She could be a friend to anybody," Moore's mother, Vicki Moore said.

"A wonderful personality. You know, a big heart. She would come to the aide of her friends in a very fast moment," said Moore's dad.

Lee and Vicki Moore remember how Haley's generosity also tested them. Before Haley got her driver's license, she'd told them she wanted to be an organ donor, but never officially registered.

Much too soon, her parent had to decide to donate their daughter's organs.

"It was so hard. It was so hard," Vicki Moore remembered, "because I didn't want to let go."

As a mother, if she couldn't have her daughter, Vicki didn't want anyone to have her. But the Moores knew it was the last chance to see a wish of Haley's fulfilled.

"I knew she wanted this," Lee Moore explained.

They told the doctors on one condition.

"I said, find six people on a table right now that won't live unless they have my baby's organs, and I'll do it," Vicki Moore said.

Jessica lost half her heart on Aug. 2, and three days later, Haley gave it to someone else.

The list reaches every corner of America. Right now, more than 100,000 people are sick enough to be on the organ transplant list; most never make it off that list.

Haley's vital organs were perfect. LifeQuest organ recovery services matched her with six people across the East Coast.

Her lungs went to North Carolina. Her heart went to Virginia. Her pancreas to New Jersey, and her liver to South Florida. One kidney went to Mississippi and the other went to Georgia.

Haley's family met those who received their daughter's organs for the first time on Dec. 15.

"I have been living for today," said Ted Perry, a lung transplant recipient.
Perry has been living for Haley.

"When she told me my lungs came from a 17-year-old girl I just broke down," Perry said. "I was 63 years old and she's 17 and it really got to me."

Made by the hands of those she saved, a portrait of Haley brought tears to their eyes and hope to their souls as they met the family of their "angel" for the first time.

Haley's friends and family dreamed of meeting the people who now keep Haley alive, not knowing what they would say.

"She must be a very special person because I can feel her in my spirit." Anne Kirchmier, a heart transplant recipient, said. "Every day in everything I do."

For 13 years, there was never a day Kirchmier wasn't sick.

"After my transplant, I woke up and knew I was well for the first time in 13 years because of Haley."

Since that day, Kirchmier has carried Haley with her every day. Together, they won three medals and broke three world records at the World Transplant games.

It was because of Haley's big heart, now with Kirchmier, that she chose to be an organ donor. But it's because of Haley that six people get to choose how they're going to live each day.

The portrait of Haley Moore the recipients made will be featured on the "Donate Life" float in the Rose Parade on New Year's Day.

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