An Angel to More than One Family

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Dana Ezell, Donor

An Angel to More than One Family

Posted October 27, 2011

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dana-photoA daughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece and a dear friend to many, Dana was loved and adored by all those who had the good blessing to know her. Dana’s heart was made of gold, she had an irresistible smile and a laugh that could only come from Dana. Her loveable and fun personality are forever engraved in our hearts and there isn’t a day that goes by in which we don’t miss her terribly. She never knew that she would become an Angel at such a young age. An Angel to not only her own family but, an Angel to people she would never know yet became their blessing in renewal. 

“Dana’s heart was made of gold, she had an irresistible smile and a laugh that could only come from Dana.”

Tragedy struck on a rainy Saturday morning in March 2009. We got the phone call that our beloved Dana was in a very serious car accident in Franklin County. The hospital staff did not think she would make it through the night. She suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury and was in the intensive care unit surviving on a ventilator. Everyone stayed by her side in hopes that she would soon wake up. Over the next tearful 5 days, we stayed with Dana close by her side in the hospital with her family.  Waiting was the hard part. Waiting and praying that we would see her open her eyes or make any type of movement. But, early Thursday morning, April 2, the hospital called Dana’s mom to deliver the news no one could bear to hear. Dana suffered several mini strokes to her brain during the night causing her to go brain dead. Dana’s mom my aunt, had to make the selfless and generous decision to donate Dana’s organs. For this is the absolute last decision a parent should ever have to make for their child, but she knew that Dana would have wanted to do so.

At this time in our lives, and especially mine, as Dana was more of a sister to me than a cousin, we all felt the world come to a complete stop. And yet, at the same time, somewhere else in the world, on the very day of our tragedy, was a day that peoples’ lives were about to be saved. While we were mourning the death of our beloved “Dana Belle”, another young woman was given a second chance at life through Dana’s heart. And Dana’s heart continued to beat.

And a man’s life was about to change through the gift of Dana’s kidney. And Dana’s kidney continued to function. Many other lives were saved from the greatest gift Dana gave, her life. Although she didn’t know it, she single handedly became a hero and an angel to so many people, the ones who loved her so dearly, the lives she saved and all the lives she touched before and after the accident. Of course Dana didn’t know she would be an organ donor, neither do a lot of people that are young and care free. Dana was only 21 when she was taken from us far, far too soon, but we can now embrace the life she lived and ultimately gave.

After I lost my beloved cousin, I took my grief and with family members created the Celebrate Life Foundation. Our organization was created to share Dana’s story as well as honor all donors and recipients and carry the torch of awareness for the gift of organ donation.  Through the seemingly endless grief and sorrow, there is a ray of light to help us stay strong.

“Dana, we miss you each and everyday. You left us with many beautiful memories that we hold sacred in our hearts. Your memory will never be forgotten and until we meet again we will continue to share your story. You are our angel”.

Take the next step. Enroll in the organ and tissue donor registry and save lives.Register Today

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