Fateful heart transplant recipient reaches teen milestone
Nearly three years ago, on the heels of tragedy, a young Roane County girl received a life-saving heart transplant; today she's a teenager reaching a milestone she might otherwise have missed.
ROANE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT)-- After being given a second chance at life, one local teen gets to take the highly anticipated driver's learning permit exam. But driving isn't the only reason the 15-year-old wants to obtain the permit.
Jordon Hensley is reaching a milestone she never thought she'd reach. "If it weren't for Ashley I wouldn't be getting my permit or being able to drive," Hensley said.
Three years ago, Hensley was in intensive care needing a new heart; a heart she received when 12-year-old Ashley Paine died after she was hit by a school bus while riding her bike.
Paine's family, still reeling from their daughter's death, made a life-saving decision. They gave doctors the go-ahead to donate her heart.
"It's a generous gift that a family has given to her to have a second chance at life," said Lisa Clark, with Donate Life Tennessee, who went to the DMV to support Hensley. "She's made the best of it, and she and her entire family have reached out to do everything they can to support organ donations."
Hensley said she's decided to become an organ donor herself. Her mother, Jessica Hensley, said Jordon was mostly excited to become one.
"I did check off my application to be a donor because Ashley did that," Jordon Hensley said. "If she hadn't done that I probably wouldn't be here."
Mrs. Hensley said the Paines' gift will forever link the two families together. She said Jordon even got a license plate waiting for her next year, in memory of Ashley.
"It has a cross and a cowgirl going up to the cross and she said it's her going up to Ashley," she said.
With a perfect score on her driver's learning permit exam, Hensley is moving on to the next chapter in her life, and she's thankful for it.
ROANE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Nearly three years ago, on the heels of tragedy, a young Roane County girl received a life-saving heart transplant; today she's a teenager reaching a milestone she might otherwise have missed.
Jordon Hensley, now 15, was 12 years old when Ashley Paine, who was also 12 years old, was killed by a school bus in Oak Ridge in 2007. Ashley's death meant new life for Jordon, who was born with a heart defect that left the organ working incorrectly.
The girls had never met, but Ashley's heart was a fateful match for Jordon, and that meant a successful heart transplant for the young girl.
Wednesday, Jordon earned her learner permit, getting a perfect score on the written driver test after her second attempt.
In November 2007, Ashley was riding her bicycle home from Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge when she was hit by the school bus while trying to cross the busy intersection of Illinois Avenue and the Oak Ridge Turnpike. She died a few days later.